“Most Confusing Intersection” Improvement Plan Begins

Westporters learn to carefully navigate it. Visitors coming off Merritt Parkway Exit 42 are completely flummoxed by it.

At last — after decades of confusion — the Route 57 (Main Street)/Route 136 (Easton Road and Weston Road) cluster**** may get some improvement.

The state Department of Transportation has designed a plan. They’ll discuss it in a virtual public information program this Thursday (June 9, 7 p.m.), with a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

The meeting will be recorded. To access the meeting, provide comments or ask questions, click here (then scroll down to “Live Event Links”).

The plan includes replacing the existing flashing light with a full traffic signal, and widening the road.

The state Department of Transportation plan. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Right-of-way impacts could include partial land acquisitions and easements.

The project is in the early stages of concept development. No funding or schedule has been identified. The public meeting is to discuss feasibility and solicit feedback.

 

20 responses to ““Most Confusing Intersection” Improvement Plan Begins

  1. Edward Bonaham

    It’s actually a very easy intersection to navigate…if you have a common sense (not so common).

    The goal is perpetual motion, keep the flow moving and going.

    Would rather see a rotary with Two lanes.

  2. A rotary would be so great. I hope the state will consider that as a solution.

  3. A traffic signal that folks will blow through anyway

    • Michael Mossman

      The delays are caused by uncertainty from people unfamiliar with the routine. Also, some drivers are either overly cautious or overly impatient. The traffic lights would help lessen dithering and confusion but to decrease delays a roundabout seems a way better solution. Keep everyone moving.

  4. Why no a “Round-About”. That is what they would do in Europe.

  5. Welcome news!! I live right off 42 and have to carefully navigate this dangerous intersection every day.

  6. Richard Johnson

    You gotta laugh at people calling this an easy intersection to navigate. Traffic coming down 57 towards town rarely uses a turn signal because it’s not clear they have to (which direction is “straight” – staying on 57, or continuing on Weston Road?). People heading toward the Merritt on 57 are thus left to sit at that intersection interminably or risk getting T-boned by someone going towards Weston Road. Meanwhile, traffic coming down 136 towards towards town has terrible sightlines, causing delays. I’m an expert who goes through this intersection at least twice and often four times a day, and I hate it.

    A roundabout might also work well, but at peak traffic would back up traffic in every direction with no one able to get through (e.g., when traffic is backed up at 5 getting from town to the Merritt, a traffic circle would impede traffic getting off the Merritt or continuing on 136). An intersection with traffic lights would at least keep some traffic moving.

  7. John Harttwell

    this intersection cries out for a roundabout, and CDOT developed a plan for it years ago. It’s not too late to include that in the mix, at least for discussion

  8. Ariane Trimuschat

    This intersection is terrifying, and I have to navigate it multiple times a day coming from Easton towards town. No matter how many times I do it, it is not easy and has absolutely nothing to do with common sense as you have no way to know what the other drivers are thinking and those coming down Weston don’t even seem to realize there are cars waiting to merge from Easton. It is often impossible to see the traffic coming at me from Weston with a blind spot and at the same time see who is coming towards me. For those who are unfamiliar with this intersection, it is even scarier and thus more dangerous, and of course as with any intersection, there will be people everyday who approach it for the first time. It’s about time something is done to make it safer.

  9. Aryeh Friedman

    It’s hardly worth debating which part is most treacherous right now. They all are and it’s only through the kindness of strangers, often in short supply, or serious guts that one’s able to merge into certain parts.

    Also, sidewalk? What’s a sidewalk?

  10. Pro tip: When heading to the Merritt from downtown, do not go left at the traffic island. Continue straight; then go left at Weston Road. Counterintuitive, but often quicker — and you eliminate that treacherous merge with cars heading north on Weston Road.

    • 100% this.

      Given your propensity for spot-on YouTube music bumpers at the end of posts, there was a missed opportunity, here!

  11. Everything would be ok, if drivers would just slow down, show common courtesy, not compete to be the first though the intersection, and realize that an extra few minutes will NOT change their lives. Whoever came up with the bumper sticker “you don’t have to be rude to live in Westport” must have contended with the 136/57 intersection.

    • While I agree with your larger point, this intersection has major problems for people going from Main Street to the Merritt. Since they have to yield to folks coming from the Merritt/Weston, there is never a “you absolutely have the right of way” moment for that lane – they yield to everyone. No courtesy really solves that problem without causing other problems.

      If, at that same point, you’re headed north on Weston Road toward Weston or the Merritt, you use the same cars coming from the direction of the Merritt as “blockers”. In theory, the cars from the two roads should be alternating at the stop signs, but the Weston Road drivers never have to yield.

      It is an absolutely poorly designed intersection, because of the conflicting instructions. (If we could fix the less-highly trafficked but similar – with it’s contradicting instructions – South Maple and Clapboard Hill intersection, we can fix this!)

  12. Bobbie Herman

    As I said in prior post, I have driven in Great Britain many times and they work beautifully.

    Meanwhile, couldn’t the police post a patrolman at the intersection? They have them at Route 33 and the Post Road as well as the Cribari Bridge?

  13. David J. Loffredo

    If it becomes a roundabout, this needs to become required reading – especially this part – “Once in the roundabout, you have the right of way. Do not stop to let in traffic from entering legs.”

    https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DOT/documents/dtrafficdesign/Safety/Roundaboutspdf.pdf

  14. Chris Grimm is right, again (as he often is). And Dan’s “cheat” is 100% spot on. I believe it’s probably saved my life.

  15. Jessie Schwartz-Kwasnik

    I would love to see a rotary, There is a great Freakonomics podcast about why rotary/round-abouts are better than traffic lights. I hope the state can see reason.
    https://freakonomics.com/?s=round%20abouts

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