Last month, “06880” reader Ray Broady’s “06880” opinion piece — “Westport’s 4 Traffic Ills of the Apocalypse” — drew over 70 comments.
Ray is not done trying to solve our town’s traffic woes. Here’s his update.
Last week I met with 2 town officials. I heard about their understanding of the 4 specific traffic problem locations, as well as their current plans and ideas on possible solutions.
The meeting was hosted by operations director Thomas Kiely and Officer Andy D’Amura of the Westport Police Traffic & Safety Department.
I had a chance to express how serious these problem locations have become, and how I thought these issues have not been given enough priority from local officials.
They were both well versed in their understanding of these traffic problem areas. Both have very good understanding of traffic issues. Thomas Kiely spent 16 years as a State Police highway patrol officer, while Officer D’Amura has been involved with traffic problems for many years in Westport.
It was obvious these 2 men felt strongly that they as well as the community want to see solutions and action.
They pointed out the big stumbling block is that all 4 of the problem areas I brought forward are on state highways. The Department of Transportation controls all planning, changes, funding and ultimate approval of any projects the town and state would like implemented.
State DOT has a lot of roads and highways on their workbench. Westport’s requests for consideration are on a long list of projects to be addressed by DOT.
Kiely and D’Amura went over some changes and improvements in the pipeline for implementation and action.
I think these changes will produce a small improvement in Saugatuck traffic congestion, but a bigger benefit at the new roundabout Weston Road – Easton Road intersection.
The Westport Police Department has a plan to place trained traffic control officers at the Riverside Avenue/Bridge Street intersection on morning and evening commute hours, as well as doing more traffic officer control at the Route 33 (Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road)/Post Road West intersection, and its commute hour massive congestion.
We also discussed the importance of traffic signal optimization on the entire Westport section of the Post Road, and the 3 other areas (including Wilton Road/Kings Highway North).
Traffic at the Kings Highway North/Wilton Road intersection …
It is obvious that unless officials in Westport and the state come together with greater timing and vigor, the traffic problems we now suffer in Westport will continue to grow — and become a larger set of problems.
A day later I had a productive meeting with State Representative Jonathan Steinberg. He reached out after reading my opinion piece on “06880.”
We discussed the same areas of concern, as well as possible action he and I can move forward on to address making these issues a higher priority for the town.
Steinberg is a longtime Westport resident. He has been affected by these traffic problem issues, and has a great understanding of state agencies for how problems like ours are identified and dealt with.
… and, not far away, the Wilton Road/Riverside Avenue/Post Road West cluster****.
It’s very important for residents and businesses of Westport to realize that unless we can bring town and state officials, and DOT, into new action and priorities, the solutions we seek will just stay a “kick the can down the street”problem.
I want Westport residents and businesses to know I am committed to continuing to interface with any officials and interested individuals to “push and shove” this town into better traffic flow.
I have received a few emails from town residents who wish to help and contribute to this action effort. I would love to hear from others additional who want to join the effort. My email is email@example.com.
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