[OPINION] Westport’s 4 Traffic Ills Of The Apocalypse

Readers reacted quickly to last week’s “06880” story on traffic. It was the Comment section equivalent of the back roads of Westport, after an accident on I-95.

Ray Broady moved to Westport in 2014 from Southern California, where he and his wife of 53 years were born and raised. They came here to be closer to their only daughter and granddaughter. Ray retired in great health, after a career in contracting. His hobbies include boating, traveling and DIY projects.

Ray drives around Westport often, and to Greenwich 3 times a week. He wanted to write more than a quick reply to the traffic story. He thought a while, then sent this:

I feel I must somehow reach more Westporters who are as frustrated as I am about the traffic nightmare getting worse by the day in our great town, beyond just the Comments section.

I believe that the major traffic problem areas around Westport, which mainly involve 4 major intersections and roadways, are going to reach epidemic proportions in the near future.

Before COVID, these issues were worsening by the month. Now, after new arrivals, the volume of traffic at these locations has effectively doubled or tripled. Add in the new single-family housing and multi-family projects in planning and approved, and Westport has a recipe for a traffic apocalypse.

I am naming the 4 problem areas in detail, so concerned Westport residents and businesses can put their finger more easily on the map, and hopefully realize that “Rome is burning while Nero fiddles!”

Westporters must come together and put out his fire if we are going to have a wonderful town in which to live, work and play.

Westport’s Four Traffic Ills of the Apocalypse:

The Saugatuck Disaster: Exit 17 off I095 to Charles Street onto Saugatuck Avenue; also Riverside Avenue to the Cribari Bridge/Bridge Street to Greens Farms Road.

The Downton Deluge: Post Road West at the Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road intersection.

Kings Hwy north and Wilton Road, to Canal Street and Main Street.

The Weston Road/Easton Road/Main Street Confusion.

All 4 problem areas are on state highways. This creates a major impediment to solving these problems, because we must have state participation, assistance and approvals.

However, this should not stop or slow efforts to correct and effect cures to these problems. Where there is a will there is a way.

I love this town and what it represents. I am so glad the community cares and contributes to so many wonderful improvements and projects.

However, I feel we may have these traffic nightmares too far down the list of priorities.

We all know for example the growing success of downtown, and now the push to improve Parker Harding Plaza parking and retail access.

The town can shoot itself in the foot if it spends millions on the new project, without curing the difficult access to downtown that has developed.

Businesses will find that traffic-frustrated shoppers and visitors find it too difficult to transit the downtown to avail themselves of the great features if offers.

Public officials and departments should take up this issue in a serious, results- oriented way. Westport residents need to bring strong pressure to bear on these officials and departments to get a quick action plan together, and move this problem to top priority — not lip service, and not excuses.

We all know the Representative Town Meeting addresses and accomplishes a lot of issues, in a great forum of resident input.

But I am not sure this RTM has the heart and fire to tackle this issue without a lot of bitching and nostalgic references to the good old days, when the town only had 12,000 or so residents.

Those days are gone forever. The tomorrow train is racing toward a head-on collision with this town and its future.

Officials sometimes use this resident noise to sweep away the problem of the slate of priorities, and leave it to future discourse. There needs to be far more foresight about how we can keep Westport vibrant. Tackling these traffic problems will help assure a wonderful future for our special town of Westport.

Damn it, Come on, Westport. Let’s do this now!

(The Comments and Opinion sections of “06880” are open to all readers. So is the Donate page. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!) 

72 responses to “[OPINION] Westport’s 4 Traffic Ills Of The Apocalypse

  1. Susan Iseman

    Thank you for your thoughtful submission. Additionally, Westport desperately needs to address what all of these vehicles idling in traffic are doing to our already poor air quality. I have yet to hear of any plan for any of this by Jennifer Tooker, yet we see her in countless “photo ops” around businesses in town. Many of these businesses would benefit by a coordinated traffic control plan and will clearly suffer if folks can’t get there.

  2. Richard Fogel

    Great thought and analysis. It’s far more then Jen Tooker offered. I nominate Ray Broady for first selectman. Thank you Ray

  3. Frank Donaldson

    The description of this traffic problem is 100% correct. On many occasions, and more frequently than ever it’s like gridlock. If it’s doesn’t get addressed along w the more exciting plans be considered it will soon be too late. Come on board (Westport)

  4. Nomi Jacobs

    We just got back from Portugal and they have some light’s but mostly round abouts. This should definitely be looked at especially by Easton,Weston and Main Street intersection. Maybe some of the others could be included. You are right on about the intersections. Nomi Jacobs

    • Larry+Weisman

      I share Mr.Broady’s pain but – I’ve said this before and I say it again – the traffic problems in Westport are insoluble. We are wedged between I-95 and the Merritt Parkway, neither of which are going anywhere; we have only 3 vehicular river crossings; for historical reasons, we have a limited number of east-west streets as much as a mile or a mile and a half apart; and to make matters worse,our downtown is not at the railroad station as is the case in most towns. And things will only get worse when the Hiawatha Lane, Wilton Road, Richmondville Road and King’s Highway developments are up and occupied. So, in addition to continuing to bemoan the state of affairs, and without giving up on tinkering with better timed lights, turning lanes and rotaries, we should be putting most of our efforts into building a public transportation system that works and is attractive enough to take a sizeable amount of local traffic off the roads. In order to do that we need to consolidate our Quixotic one-town transit district which is underfunded and not professionally managed, with the Norwalk and Bridgeport systems, expand the routes, improve the service and upgrade the buses. That’s the only way we will we be able to reduce the ever-increasing, insoluble traffic which will eventually choke the town.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        Larry, if you are as old as I am you will remember the CR&L bus line that ran from Stamford to Bridgeport. Keep talking. You make sense.

        • Jack Backiel

          Eric, I knew a guy, Ben Kulis, who lived on Cottage Lane. He worked for CR&L for over 30 years. When they went belly up, for his retirement, he lost everything except $1,100 dollars!

      • Yes Larry! We have to incentivize people to ride ..but How?

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

          Incentivize? Let’s see. You have to appeal to the intellectual side of the average Westporter. I’ve got it!!! How about free copies of those dirty books from the Staples Library so people can expand their horizons while riding the new (politically correct) Minnybus?

      • Clark Thiemann

        I agree! Two things: 1. The increasing number of residents who work either at home or locally has increased traffic relative to 30 years ago when many residents spent all day in NYC. 2. A real win would be to get more kids on the school buses and out of cars (and limit the idling cars at the school pickups). Bus options to more extracurricular activities from school could also be a huge plus (and ease the need for pickups).

  5. I agree with Ray! I am terrified each time I must enter the Weston Rd/Easton Rd/Main Street intersection at what we used to call Daybreak! It’s a bumper cars situation. Having said that Ray is exactly right. Traffic problems in Westport are monumental. Crossing town causes heart palpitations and white knuckles. How can we solve these traffic problems?

  6. Diane L Lowman

    Thank you. Well said. I live in Saugatuck and need to leave myself 30 minutes at least to get anywhere in town – and it will only get infinitely worse with “the hamlet”. Help. Someone. Please

  7. Well…one thing that that continually surprises me is that we don’t organically reduce traffic. Coordinating with neighbors who need one thing from the “where I’m going” would not only reduce traffic substantially, but we would meet neighbors. This isn’t rocket science when we have Venmo, FaceTime, texting and such. Maybe we can incentivize it by credits for participating businesses??. All this communication and so few solutions?? Hello app developers?? Maybe we can track miles saved and incentivize with completion? Is this just obvious to me?

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      MPG you are the best looking and the smartest member of our HS class still living in Westport. You are the only reason I try to visit once a year. Anyone else I bump into while I’m home is just a bonus you are the raison d’etre.

      Now that I’ve built up your receptivity, GO FOR IT!!!! YOUR IDEAS MAKE SENSE!!!! (Perhaps too much sense for present day Westport but give it a shot).

    • Jessica Beckers


  8. I agree 💯 with Ray Broady and have reached out to Jen Tooker through emails as has my husband. We have not had responses. I live on Burritts and can, at times, not been able to get off my road to Saugatuck Ave bec if traffic. Waze diverts drivers from 1-95 to Saugatuck Ave which exacerbates the problem. When the 300 unit housing development is built on Hiawatha Saugatuck Ave will become a parking lot. I agree that we need a group to problem solve. The refrain that the state road issue makes everyone helpless has been used through the last 2 first selectmans’ terms. And the concentration has been bike safety and neighborhood safety issues. Both important- but totally bypassing the crisis. I don’t know where to begin but we do need to try to address the issue- which is already a crisis. At the very least- police could be stationed from 9am to 8 pm at the problem areas. There’s too much complaining. We need some community action to try to get progress. I’m willing to help.

    • Richard Fogel

      I also have reached out to Tooker numerous times. Not one communication reciprocated

  9. Scott Mikuszewski

    The Saugatuck area issue is the most frustrating as it includes ppl trying to save a few min bypassing traffic on 95 and not actually going into westport. Because of the overwhelming number of cars doing this it ends up taking more time than if they just stayed on 95.

  10. All of Connecticut’s investment in train, bus and highway public transportation is what is needed to address a lot of the traffic ills.

  11. Beth Berkowitz

    We need more solutions rather than pointing out the problems. I wonder if anyone has suggested some kind of parking garage in downtown or near downtown with a shuttle to get to downtown. I wonder if anyone has looked into the possibility of making the bridge street bridge a toll bridge for anyone without a car registered in westport? It may discourage those who are just using it as a cut Thru which doesn’t help our local businesses. Those that work in local businesses can get a toll pass so it doesn’t cost them money to use the bridge to get to and from work. We need to start thinking of ideas that may be a little “out of the box”.

    I know there are solutions being done for the weston road/daybreak intersection. I’m not sure how to make the other intersections better other than posting police officers there to make sure the traffic lights make the traffic flow better.

  12. Priscilla Hawk

    Wasn’t there approval recently to a group of builders to take down some Saugatuck buildings and replace them with new high risers and have boats behind them on the Saugatuck River to give tourists fun places to stay and take boat rides across the river and into Town?Can we rescind this?

  13. Joshua stein

    All the billions spent on Merritt and i95 still no true functional improvements such as adding an additional lane or allowing the break down lane to be used during peak hour like many states. Follow the money.

  14. Lucy weberlng

    How bout a big parking lot outside of town and a shuttle?

  15. Jann Colabella

    could it be the “waze” app?

  16. Agree with you 100 per cent
    Need to make first Selectwoman fully accountable on this and stop avoiding the issue

    • Richard Fogel

      Amen. Thank you. She is not performing as promised

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        Promises from a politician mean nothing. But Jen’s a relative newcomer to the political world she deserves our understanding. But reality intrudes: The town is in trouble and constituent phone calls are not being acknowledged as evidenced by named comments on Dan’s blog. However: to her credit, she and Foti are setting a great example on ride sharing wouldn’t you all agree? Their carbon footprint is probably half that of the typical Westporter that travels alone. All I can suggest to make them perfect role models would be for the town to purchase a tandem bike for their use.

  17. The Weston/Easton Rd/Main Street intersection is a dangerous intersection in addition to it being a nightmare re traffic flow. I live close to this intersection and for most of the day I hear horns blowing and people screaming at each other as they try to navigate this area which is clearly poorly designed and outmoded given the current traffic load. There are apparently ‘plans’ to redesign but I haven’t heard anything about this since last year. It is probably buried in the governmental bureaucracy that is analogous to our traffic issues.

  18. Change happens when leadership intersects with grass roots efforts. One doesn’t work without the other. The Obstacles are Human nature & the Politics of Money; Everyone wants things to get better but nobody wants anything to change. England and N.J. improved the problem with Roundabouts. Read the Book: TRAFFIC

  19. John D McCarthy

    Do No Harm….These should be the watchwords to all Westport officials and committees that touch traffic and parking. Many concerned citizens believe that the proposed changes to downtown’s Parker Harding lot (removal of over 40 parking spaces and the collector/cut-through road) will prove disastrous to Westport traffic and Westport businesses. Over 850 people have already signed this petition to oppose the plan. We hope The First Selectwoman and her committee are listening https://chng.it/Q9cB8tnH7K

    • Well said, John. I recall that a few years ago, in the name of, ahem, “safety”, town officials decided to ban any right turn on red in downtown. No hearings, no traffic study or, apparantly, any consideration of the possible consequences. Then, as now, it fell to local residents to get that rolled back – but not before the dedicated right turn lane at Myrtle and Main was totally eliminated. The Director of Public Works at the time later stated at a Board of Selectmen meeting that he would submit a proposal to re-establish that which he had just destroyed. Obviously, that never happened. And it never will. Once these things are done, they’re done – which is why, as it relates to Parker Harding, I sure hope the Tooker Administration will embrace its own, previously announced goal of improving traffic flow in downtown.

  20. Michael J Krein

    Remember when…they had to put up a temporary bridge over the Saugatuck. It was awesome, wide and had a turn lane system. Then they tore it down because the metal disaster was fived. Put up a temporary and leave it.

    • Peter Barlow

      I remember that bridge. It was the steepest bridge I ever drove on – exciting but potentially dangerous. But the answer to the bridge problem will be something like that, permanent and maybe not so high.

  21. As Ray Broady pointed out, all of these problem areas are state roads. Perhaps residents should contact Westport’s State Representative Jonathan Steinberg who is a member of the CT General Assembly Transportation Committee and voice their concerns and demand action instead of picking on Jen Tooker. Talk to the person that has authority over state roads — Representative Jonathan Steinberg.

  22. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Hope your ears are burning Jonathan because the buck has just been passed to you.

  23. Michael Naughton

    Many good ideas and comments of which there is never a shortage of in Westport. As pointed out the traffic congestion in Westport is a growing and well known problem by all the elected Town Representatives- Boards- and Committees. Yet they do nothing! Why is that OK with Town residents or is it? I read a recent article describing the Zeitgeist of Westport residents as “ Busy” – maybe that is what elected town representatives are counting on – residents are to busy to hold elected town officials accountable for solving the traffic crisis in Westport. Rather than ideas on how to solve the traffic crisis how about ideas on how we hold town officials accountable for doing their job

  24. Jamie Walsh

    All of the residents and merchants who attended the Downtown Planning and Implementation Committee meeting addressing the process which led them to propose the elimination of both the access road and 44 parking spots at Parker Harding are hopeful that our collective voices were heard. For the record First Selectman Tooker was in attendance and am confident listened carefully understanding that the consequences far out weigh the benefits. Most everyone in attendance agreed that the impact would be detrimental for not only the traffic safety on the feeder roads but to the Merchants and shoppers who enjoy and expect a level of convenience and accessibility when parking downtown.
    The original survey was misleading and I admit frustration with the leading questions. Time for the traffic engineers and the DPIC to go back to the drawing board and embrace the concerns of so many.

    • Mark Yurkiw

      I invite everyone to read Paved Paridise by Henry Grabar which specifically calls out Westport for Parking, Beach sticker, and Affordable Housing right in the first chapter.

  25. Ciara Webster

    With respect to an above comment, I understand Jonathan our state rep has reached out many times to our first selectwoman and has got nowhere.
    The town doesn’t believe in dealing at state level. “It’s to slow, and takes years”
    Traffic is a disaster.
    Waze is here to stay.
    We cannot keep hiding behind Waze,etc…
    We need to find some kind of solution which will not be perfect.
    But will help.
    First thing we must not do is ever agree to the plan which was falsely presented time and again of Parker Harding.
    I mean as late as several weeks ago there was a stand up row between a merchant who had done her homework and in her hand had “the” plan, and the DPIC committee who told her loading zones had not been removed.
    After 3 rounds of they aren’t on the plan, they are on the plan, DPIC admitted… oh yeah they aren’t on the plan well duh we could all see they weren’t on the plan. And this is how everything with this plan has been approached.. mistruths… .. trucks can park in the lane while they unload. No ! Trucks cannot park in the middle of the lane for 20 plus minutes while they unload.
    That is definitely hazardous. The latest iteration, trucks can have 2 loading zones for the entirety of PH til 10.30am….
    Not possible, not practical ! Loading is an ALLLLLLL day affair. No truck company cares what time our DPIC committee says they can come. Every town and business asks for as early as possible deliveries… and someone has to be last.
    Nor can we decide now to arbitrarily remove 3/5 loading zones leaving 2.
    We need 5 loading zones in PH.
    We need a garbage centrally located.
    We need angled parking spots,
    We need the road to post road from PH
    We need maintenance. We do not have to nor need to put back restriped lines and loose spots.
    Nobody else in town has.. or most have not.
    It’s called “maintenance”
    And if the fire department now say that the PH road is an issue for fire trucks since 2015. Well I suggest it has worked for 8 years since that claim and no reason that cannot continue.
    Let’s face it.
    Our police and fire dept answer to the selectman. Therefore we are now just hearing answers she wants to hear.
    The PH cut through alleviates traffic from ALL starting to use neighborhood roads where residents live and children play.
    Anyone here use Park lane off compo rd south to get to Thomas, imperial in the mornings.. yep.. I’ll guess I’m in lots of good company.
    Waze actually now directs us that way..
    so without the PH road People will have to start finding “short cuts” and that’s a fact.
    Anyone here turn into rizuttos parking lot to do a u turn and get the green out of rizuttos to not be in 25 car line up of traffic to get across the cribari bridge..
    anyone get irritated by the cars on post road west coming down the hill to the bridge that pretend they are taking the left but all turn signal into the straight lane last minute and delay everyone ?
    Anyone wonder why we have no police presence at that junction to give tickets to everyone who does that last manoever, and blocks the box so nobody gets through the next light.
    I’m not familiar with all the shortcuts or illegal manoevers but these are just some.
    Oh another, old road by the Lexus dealer. Used by so many now like it’s a highway to get to maple. Oh another, sylvan south to get around post road west traffic…
    The list is endless and Waze know has it.
    Now if we reduce downtown to one exit, by getting rid of church lane for 7 months or is it 8.
    Whoever heard of shutting down a roadway like that ?
    Not me. Not anywhere else.
    And now to suggest taking out the last only other legit exit by way of parked Harding road is just unconscionable.
    So another traffic survey is going to be conducted to “legitimize” the original farce.
    Nah.. we are all good there.
    This will need to be conducted by opposition to the plan. Otherwise the numbers will just be made up to fit the plan.
    Basically that was the statement.
    I can sit on a chair at the Starbucks exit and conduct my own survey. But I know exactly what it will show me.
    That those opposing the plan are correct. A traffic nightmare.
    A parking nightmare, a fire truck trying to get to town through gridlock nightmare.
    One exit south bound…. One !!!!!
    Myrtle to imperial… already a sh.. show.
    Are the folks in favor of this plan blind ? They definitely don’t sit in the traffic every day…
    It’s enough already.
    The minute residents and merchants learnt what was going on we stood up. As is our right.
    I’m starting to think legal injunctions etc…
    I’m hoping that won’t be necessary but quite honestly if that’s the next move so be it.
    The PH plan is not viable.
    Bottom line. And incidentally many of us have been begging and pleading over a year to do a rethink..
    all of it foi able…. Anyone can ask to see the documentation on it.
    See recipients who have paid attention( nobody) see who has rudely ignored communications… oh yes it’s all there for public consumption.
    Anyone needing their mosquito filled walk by a green space in the river please come and visit the new riverside avenue park. It’s stunning, really lovely, and always empty.
    Maybe nobody can make it across either bridge to get here.
    Ciara Webster.
    Petition at almost 1000
    That is a lot of votes.

  26. Jimmy Izzo RTM D3

    Traffic is never going away. Yes, the flow of traffic is causing a lot of stress..Can Jonathan Steinberg and Jen Tooker solve it, NO.

    As Larry Weisman stated earlier, we are trapped between I95, Merritt, and with Route 1, 136, 57, and 58 going right through our town. We are the “ultimate pass thru” town in lower Fairfield County.

    Today thanks to the State of Ct and 8-30g we are surrounded by big apartment complexes not only in Westport, but Norwalk and Fairfield as well. The over building of housing units will NOT stop until modification of 8-30g happens. As long as the current majority party is leading the CT Legislature, modification will never happen. Look for even more housing and cars coming our way.

    What can we do locally to help? Don’t “block the box” by jumping a yellow or red light to avoid waiting a minute for the light to turn. If you notice, when we “block the box” we sit in the box!

    Perhaps more traffic agents at these critical intersections during rush hour to help keep “the box” moving and clear? Maybe two in Saugatuck? Some say this works, others say it doesn’t. Just a suggestion.

    Embrace patience. Yes, patience. We are all part of the problem. Our kids are all playing travel sports, have after school activities that require multi parent – nanny driving. Let us not forget the “new corporate Covid world” of 3 days in the city, and Monday and Friday home. Home doesn’t mean stay home.

    Notice also when we are on the road, the bipartisan ( I know hard to believe right?) federal infrastructure bill is alive and at work. You cannot escape road and bridge construction anywhere! Now this work requires, lane closures, while at the same time volume remains high. Yes, this equals traffic delays!

    Now with a labor shortage, supply chain issues, these infrastructure improvements will unfortunately take longer. We see this happening on Post Road East next to Calise’s Market. No left turn!!!

    Blaming our town and state leaders is not going to solve the worsening traffic issues. I know everyone is working hard to try and find ways to ease the traffic jams. The complexity of state and town roads requires engineering, permits, and unfortunately a lot of time.

    I know your town and state leaders are listening to you.

  27. Jane Minion

    Nothing is going to change the inevitability of population growth

    Embrace the suck

  28. Well it’s quite obvious I scratched the scab from a big sore!

    We are so conditioned to think like many of our officials and public departments. We use the word CAN’T to much when it really means they don’t WAN’T to tackle. I see and hear this attitude so much that it scares me as to how are we going to meet the future and survive as a society and people?
    There must be a group of Westporters who feel strongly enough about this problem including myself who are willing to donate some of our “busy” time and effort to form an ACTION group to approach town officials to make sure we can have the EAR of state representative Steinberg, DOT and State Departments that are responsible for securing and allotting funding from the new Federal Infrastructure Law.

    This is a problem that threatens the quality of life and health in Westport. Our Local officials and departments need to commit to the task to move this problem up in their priorities and help us put together some tangible projects that will start to assist in this process of revising and making improvements in these four problem traffic locations. We have to start somewhere and just ranting online is no solution. Obviously there are some simple changes, additions and improvements that can be made in the short term and other long term changes that will take longer to study, design and implement to solve with better results.

    There are things like signal timing synchronization, intersection trained officers for special directions, traffic light controlled turn arrows and certain special roadway improvements, possible certain Roundabouts and a real special plan for the Cribari Bridge improvements.

    We need a small group of Westporters who can dedicate some time to meeting and working on these traffic issues. We need a meet with Jan Tooker and Chief Koskinas to start the towns commitment to action and to start the ball rolling to secure effective time with Representative Steinberg and state DOT persons and departments. We should also setup a single email address where we can communicate with those involved and those who want to approach the Action group.

    • Werner Liepolt

      Having served for a full year on a CTDOT sponsored committee I can only wish you GOOD LUCK.

    • Are you volunteering to take the lead?

    • Morley Boyd

      Ray, I admire your passion. But since you’re new to town, a gentle word of caution as it relates to CTDOT and whatever remedies that agency might unleash in response to entreaties from Westport: be careful what you wish for.

  29. Jack Backiel

    Ray writes, “ This is a problem that threatens the quality of life and health in Westport.” How about 100+eighteen wheeler trailer trucks going through Westport on the Post Road every day and every night! That’s the way it used to be before 1958! What you have in 2023 is “traffic heaven” in Westport! Every truck traveling from Boston to New York and on to Miami, and to cities in between, passed through Westport center! You’re in heaven, Ray!

    • Peter Barlow

      Jack is right. I remember all those trucks on the Post Road, often in a line of 6 or more. And they were big, also loud. But we would not have believed how much bigger trucks would get.

  30. Jack Backiel

    Peter, I have a 10 second portion of a 1956 movie. We’re standing on the grass at the golf range and the Post Road is in the background. Out of those 10 seconds about 5 seconds shows the Post Road in the background. In second # 1, an 18 wheeler is speeding by heading towards Fairfield. There is another truck in the last 4 seconds. My sister was age 2 and I’m age 9. Ask Dan for my e-mail and I’ll send it to you.

  31. Jack Backiel

    We lost millions of dollars with a 99 year lease on a mall we tried to build! on the Post Road around the 1970s -1980-Ish! What happened? Traffic concerns scuttled it! Last year, Dan wanted to interview the potential builder from Kansas City, but the builder declined the offer! So if anyone has a right to complain, I’m the one who lost millions of dollars due to traffic concerns! However, if you notice, I haven’t complained.

  32. Ciara Webster

    And again…from what I have been told, State representative Jonathan Steinberg has tried to help and reaches out regularly to the appropriate officials but gets ignored… apparently they are not interested in working with him or any other state elected reps.
    And who are the biggest losers ? Yup!
    And now a 10 minute cross Westport drive instead of 8-11 minutes takes 40…. There’s no excuse.
    It’s faster to get on the highway to go from exit 17-18… well that is until you realise the right hand lane on 95 approaching exit 18 is not just slow moving traffic. It is the off ramp with 100 cars waiting to get off ( and a little advice, make sure when exiting there to position your car to the very far right so you can block the geniuses from speeding past you on the off ramp only to take a right, as though heading to Sherwood island, do a u turn and end up leaving you exiting behind someone who was 40 spots behind you… I know this from daily experience..
    I turn signal left.. and then I promptly block access on the right, as is my right as it is a one lane off ramp.
    It’s like a game of mine craft ! Next time you are taking exit 18 watch the shenanigans.
    Driving around here now is survival of the most alert.
    Or at least getting to your final destination is.
    Our once quiet roads are now Waze able and are like highways.
    It’s a disaster..
    baker and Thomas off imperial used be used by those that lived on them.. now they are a busy and much used shortcut.
    It’s not fair … who knew that when they moved there.
    I’ll bet if Dan polls readers to tell him their streets woes, there will be tens of responses.

    Ciara Webster

  33. Jack Backiel

    Ciara, Have you read my comments and Peter Barlow’s? Traffic in Westport is HEAVEN on earth compared to before 1958 when basically all I-95 traffic went down the Post Road! All the trucks went to through town.

    • Ciara Webster

      Jack, just because there were one tenth the number of cars on the road actually maybe 1/30th back then but highways had not been improved, does not mean we always compare our situation to how crap it used to be.
      3 years ago it took me 10 minutes to do a now 40 minute trip.
      That’s a huge problem.
      And it’s not that westports population has doubled and it’s not because of every household suddenly tripling their number of cars.
      So while we can absolutely attribute much of it to Waze, there are ways to improve it.
      Because quite frankly I don’t care what traffic was like then. But I most certainly care about what is is like now.
      We can demand more enforcement at the problem intersections at the appropriate times.
      Does anyone else wonder why we have enforcement at Wilton road post road west at 2pm but nobody at 3-7 pm when it is sheer hell there. Yet saugatuck has enforcement in the evening. I’m presuming it’s budget ???? But we need enforcement just as urgently at Wilton rd intersection.
      Lane hopping, box blocking..
      we need the same rules as nyc.
      Block the box and it’s a HUGE fine. Cross the solid white line to last minute avoid the traffic and lane hop and you PAY. And pay big. $500 fine. Let’s see how many people take that bet.
      Then as slow as these junctions are they might at least work somewhat. Nothing moves when the box is blocked.
      The selfish and inept driving we see today are jaw dropping. But fine then $500 consistently and they will follow the rule of law.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        You make sense. But the way basic municipal law enforcement is handled in Westport these days Foti and his boys will probably give you a slap on the wrist and waive the $500 fine if you donate $350 to the Lyman Aid Fund instead. Just wait and see.

  34. Hello Jack

    Really appreciate what this town went through in the 1970’s & 1980’s with big 18 wheelers drving up and down Post Road through westport. The truth is first off this State is suffering from all the things it SHOULD,COULDA and WOULDA DONE if it had just used a little common sense , foresight and federal dollars to help alleviate and cure it’s future traffic problems. No, those political hacks in Hartford & DC were to busy with the politics and wasteful spending creating billions in debt that were on annual average 3 – 5 billion greater than the States total GDP.

    Great friggen way to run an airline!

    No upgrades of consequence to I95 widening or bridge upgrades until the 2005-2010 periods, no intermodial freight railway links between NJ/NYC/PA thru to Hartford & New London & beyond. Those shortsided overlooks have now dumped thousands of 18 wheel trips back and forth on I95 and everyday help quickly destroy the roadbed and surfaces and put cars in minority numbers on this disasterous roadway everyday! When it comes to transportation solutions in Fairfield County the past and current leadership in Hartford & DC has sold their state short and has kicked the can down I95 for future solutions we will probably not see in our childrens lifetimes!
    Jack, I wish involved individuals like yourself had hollerd louder and done more in the 70’s & 80’s to yourselves and your then leaders to think longer term and plan for what comes in many areas of our great nation – PROGRESS!

    Westport should now make these problems a priority and demand oir local leaders and departments meet with Steinberg and a Town Traffic& Transportation Committe regularly until we can see progress on some solutions!

    This is why I won’ stop shouting about this, it’s to important now and in the future for Westport to say CAN’T !

  35. Jack Backiel

    Ray, Actually in the late 1970s, traffic had improved immensely because I-95, or The Connecticut Turnpike, was built in 1958. People were complaining about it in 1979-ish, but in reality, it had improved from 25 years earlier! It was before 1958, that the Post Road was a nightmare. I remember as a kid, in 1952, driving to Hollywood, Florida, on Route 1, hitting every light from Westport to Hollywood. When I lived in Florida, I knew a guy who lived to be 105, and he was telling me one day that he drove from Long Island to the Palm Beach area in 1932, when Dixie Highway, or Route 1, was a lonely stretch of road surrounded by swamp. (That’s his description, not mine.) But it was the same road that passed through Westport center.

  36. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Ray!!! I feel your pain. My son and his bride just moved to southern CA to take a job. Which means my wife and I could be going there to be closer to them. It’s very convenient and surely satisfying for ex-pats like Jack to sit in FL and lob stink bombs at victims that are stuck with the consequences of his inaction back before he took his windfall profits and moved out of state. There should be a law against non-Westporters commenting on ball games in which they no longer have skin. But, as anyone who went to Staples can tell you: That’s Westport for you 😎😘

  37. Jack Backiel

    Eric, Let me straighten out the record. We lost MILLIONS of dollars because our project to build a mall was defeated due to traffic concerns! We were going to build a mall, but our plans got rejected due to fears of the traffic a mall would create.No one has paid a higher monetary price from traffic problems than my family! Next, there’s something called Freedom of Speech, so I can keep commenting from anywhere in the world. Lastly, we left Florida four years ago and now live in Maryland.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Thanks for the update Jack. Hope I’m as solid as you by the time I get to be your age. How’re things in Maryland?

  38. Jack Backiel

    The only reason we’re here in Maryland is that both our kids got jobs in DC and we have 5 grandkids in Maryland.I will give everyone a tip about Florida, “DO NOT get sick in Florida.” The hospitals are horrible, even the Cleveland Clinic! I could give you many examples, but it’s not the time or place. I’ll be 76 this month and hopefully I’ll be up for Dan’s party.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Yep, when we were little our parents told us where we’d live (Westport). Now that we’re old it’s the kids/grandkids that tell us. Happy Birthday JACK!!!

  39. Jack Backiel

    Thanks for the birthday wishes. Our daughter (age 40) is a BioMedical and Mechanical Engineer and works for the Department of Defense. They have two children. Our son is 42 and works in finance. They have 3 children. 2+3= 5 grandkids. By the way, our kids got their brains from my wife! 95% of their success is due to my wife! This is not an exaggeration; it’s the truth!

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      And all because YOU wouldn’t take no for an answer 😛🤡

      • Jack Backiel

        Where Regents Condos are, we could have retained 200 foot frontage and had a little strip of businesses like Westfair. But what we should have done, is walk into Town Hall in 1954, when the golf range opened, and changed our zoning to all business. It could have been done automatically upon request. Those in Town Hall would have jumped for joy that someone would be dumb enough to ask to pay more taxes! In hindsight, you probably would have had a Macy’s or J.C.Penny anchor store where Regents is today, along with nine other stores!

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

          Sociologists will probably be doing the autopsy on Westport for the next 100 years. I’m haunted by the tagline of the old Westport Bank & Trust that was emblazoned on the building that is now Patagonia: “A home bank in a town of homes.”

        • Jack Backiel

          Westport has the same streets that they had 100 years ago. Look at Dan’s picture of the horses drinking out of a fountain at the corner of Main Street and the Post Rd in 1919. The guys in the picture are wearing masks due to the Spanish flu. Nothing has changed at that intersection, as far as the street dimensions. All we did was we replaced horses and wagons with Teslas.

  40. Edward Bonham

    State roads, state problems…a lot of you are making this strictly political, but the process that is steered by policy is state roads can only be maintained and managed by the CDOT, an extremely under employed department that has had a job freeze until recently since 2019/2020. And even then, there are zero incentives.

    State roads, state problems.

  41. Jack Backiel

    Edward, Do you know what year the Post Road became a state road?

  42. Mark Mastrianni

    We need legislation that enables cities and towns to assertively ‘OPT OUT’ of Waze, ‘Maze’ and the progeny of redirection ‘services’ that push traffic through previously serene locations in order to ‘save’ users often trivial amounts of travel time… The growing costs to cities and towns from this menace is reflected in increased road maintenance, higher accident rates, and the like.

    Given the war chests supporting lobbying efforts of many of these same social media and mapping firms, the likelihood of any near-term legislative action will be a function of the intensity and scale of focused citizen appeals to elected officials.