The Road To Town Hall Is Paved With …

An alert “06880” reader — one whose car now regularly rattles — writes:

I love our town. I have worked here for over 50 years, and lived here almost as long.

It is sometimes said that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Why is the road to Town Hall and the Board of Education the worst paved in all of Westport?

For years, Myrtle Avenue has been the best route for me to take as I return home – for lunch and dinner – from my office. However, I now take an alternate route.

I thought that after the utility work was finished, it would be repaved. But it’s been this way for months now.

This is the road leading to Town Hall. Is this the impression we want to give visitors about our town?

Town Hall looks handsome. Myrtle Avenue in front: not so much.

Another reader wonders about a nearby street.

“The Post Road was paved nicely,” he says, referring to this fall’s work near CVS heading downtown, and the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge over the Saugatuck River.

“But what about near Main Street?” he asks. “It’s a mess.”

He’s right. From Myrtle Avenue (!) to Parker Harding Plaza, it’s rough and bumpy.

The area by Anthropologie and Tiffany is supposed to be our downtown’s crown jewel.

Instead it’s like a cheap giveaway, from the bottom of a Crackerjack box.

18 responses to “The Road To Town Hall Is Paved With …

  1. When you find yourself wondering why a road hasn’t been paved “for months” and it’s late January, you may wish to consider the fact that they don’t pave roads in the dead of winter (they only patch potholes using a cold patch mix). Reason – the asphalt supply plants do not operate during the winter, and asphalt paving process does not work well once the cold temps have set in.

    • Myrtle avenue has been a mess for well over a year. This has nothing to do with the weather. After the utility work was finished, they patched the road, but never repaved it.

  2. Eric Buchroeder

    I would suggest referring the situation to the attention of the WMCH as they alone have the power to make it history.

  3. Myrtle Ave. was going to be paved this fall. But the administration then proposed some additional ways to waste large sums of taxpayer money by making the intersection of Church and Myrtle more difficult to navigate; taking land from residents for a sidewalk no one asked for; and installing a huge flashing light that – well, never mind, it doesn’t matter. The resulting controversy and push back caused more time to go by. In the end, the administration crushed the pesky taxpayers and its preferred destruction/waste was approved. The road will be repaved in the spring, I expect. Cheers!

    • Arline Gertzoff

      Morley
      You tell it like it is with awry sense of humor.Can’t wait to hear the dialogue when the bridge is out starting in May/June

    • Addison A. Armstrong

      Morley, thank you for the update. I’ve posted here several times on the subject of Myrtle Ave. If a spring re-paving truly comes to pass, then I’ll be happy to climb down from my soapbox!

  4. John L Krause

    Comparing a Town road (Myrtle) to a State road (Post Road) is not productive.

    Towns usually announce their road maintenance plans, but rarely the reasoning behind those plans. Maybe they should, and some understanding of the entire process will be better communicated, and these kinds of (excuse me) whines and moans can be avoided.

    It’s similar to the after effects of a large storm. Until the crews get to your street, the response is “horrible”. If you’re one of the first, it’s “Great!”.

    They have a lot of roads to deal with. From the Town website:
    There are 332 roads in Westport designated as town roads with a total combined length of approximately 123 miles.
    Your Perfect Plan for maintaining them would probably not be the same as someone from across town.

    • Jay Walshon MD

      John,
      Better communication is almost always beneficial – but that needs to be paired with a willingness to listen to the voices of the residents. That is something this current administration is proven loathe to do. Combined with the lack of any meaningful accountability Town decisions can be made with impunity, so why waste any time communicating with those who will be affected by their decisions and risk any taxpayer dissent?

      Communication exists only when people truly care what others think. Otherwise why bother as there is no upside to it.

      • Well put, Jay. I would add that if you summon the nerve to speak up about taxpayer financed changes which may impact your neighborhood, you now run the real risk that you may be set upon by certain town officials who apparently have lost any sense of whom they serve.

  5. Thanks for this post. I thought it was my old car…..Now I know it wasn’t.! Hope some repairs come soon.

  6. Westport officials announced today that Myrtle Ave will soon be renamed the Daniel E. Curfutt III Charitable Trust Ave. The town had delayed repaving the road after being contacted by the Trust regarding renaming opportunities late last year. Rather than asphalt, the road will be paved in salvaged 19th century cobblestones for what the press release described as a “cutting edge traffic calming measure”. In other local news, Sustainable Westport announced that it will begin selling self-walking pants on a first come, first serve basis.

    • William Strittmatter

      Speaking of Charitable Trusts, wasn’t there supposed to be some big time RTM meeting on museums, etc. this week that was going to be the big showdown between the good townspeople of Westport and the WHS? I’ve seen no reporting on it when I was expecting photos of torches and pitchforks.

      Did everyone wimp out? Or was it cancelled due to coronavirus fears?

      I do so miss my daily episode of how the WHS turns.

      At least Morley is trying to keep the subject alive.

      • Oh, yes, there was a meeting all right. Standing room only. Don’t tell Dan that I told you, but there are actually two WHS-related stories in Friday’s Wesport News – one of which concerns said meeting. Not a super good news cycle for the Museum of Grievance and Family Fun.

        In truth, the meeting was respectfully conducted and the public comments were scrupulously cordial. As it happens, WHS was not there. I’m surmising that the organization opted to pass on the perp walk as it seems there will be no soup for it in the proposed budget.

        Some positive things emerged from that meeting as it relates to the way tax dollars are reviewed and distributed to arts/cultural organizations. It’s reasonable for taxpayers to learn where their money is going. And what’s generally being done with it.

      • Dick Lowenstein

        There was a meeting and it was reported in the Wesrport News on Jan. 31:

        https://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Committee-pushes-for-more-oversight-following-15017011.php

      • William Strittmatter

        Morley/Dick – Thanks for info. Don’t follow that source.

  7. Glad to help.

    As a matter of fact, the fun (sorry, I mean improvement) has already began with clearing away of annoying trees, bushes, etc. in front of 87 Myrtle so that additional impervious surface (aka sidewalk) can be installed across private property.

    The sad/hilarious thing is that, as part of all this, after first making plans to effectively destroy the beautiful maple at the center of the traffic island at Church and Myrtle, the town then reversed course and pledged its undying love for all things green after residents complained. Town officials went on to detail the exotic ways they planned to save the tree from being harmed by, well, their project. A naive “landscape plan” for the poor traffic island was even ginned up. It featured bulbs and so on. Like that would ever work out in reality. Finally, ominous signs were posted warning everyone away from the tree whilst the town saved it. That was in the fall.

    But then the snow came. Where to put all that salty glop? That’s right. Mound it as high as you can around the martyr tree. Doesn’t matter. No one will notice.

    But someone did notice. And said something. Next thing you know, a GIANT orange plastic fence was erected around the entire island. And HUGE signs appeared warning that snow shall hereafter not be placed where it is presently placed. I had to laugh to keep from crying. Who did the town think stockpiled the salty snow there in the first place?