Tag Archives: Harbor Road

Raising Alarms On Saugatuck Shores

The new bridge to Saugatuck Island has gotten lots of press (and praise).

But area residents are less pleased about another project on Saugatuck Shores.

Gene Borio reports on a culvert replacement project that has closed off Canal Road since earlier this month.

“Somehow,” he says, “the construction company missed out on the idea that if they completely close off ingress and egress of seawater to the pond for 2 months of estimated work, the pond might stagnate and start dying.”

(Photo/Gene Borio)

When 3 eels floated to the surface, neighbors called the town. An emergency culvert was quickly installed.

But, Gene says, “the eels were so bad, even a gull wouldn’t eat them.”

This gull tried — and rejected — this eel, photographer Gene Borio says.

He adds, “It’s definitely affecting life around here. Even on weekends, people think they can’t cross to get to the beach.”

They can, he says — if they don’t mind mud and obstructions.

Still, drivers constantly see a sign saying the bridge is closed, and turn around.

Saugatuck Shores resident Jeff Manchester is also concerned. Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of cars, oil trucks, boats and trailers and school buses have backed down Canal Road, he says.

One of the many trucks that now backs down Canal Road. (Photo/Jeff Manchester)

They’re following confusing signs that should instead divert Canal Road traffic over the bridge on Harbor Road.

(Photo/Jeff Manchester)

He recommends a simple solution: replace the “Bridge Closed” sign with the one used when the bridge was being renovated.

Otherwise, he warns, “we’ll see a vehicle in the canal.”

Controversial Boat Runs Aground

Last month, I posted a story about a boat off Saugatuck Shores.

Some “06880” readers thought its condition made it an eyesore. Some called it “abandoned.”

Other readers defended it as a legitimate, seaworthy vessel with every right to be there, and defended its owner. He became part of the comments too.

When the back-and-forth became particularly nasty, I pulled the post.

The controversy is now moot. This morning, the boat ran aground off Harbor Road.

(Photo/Joelle Malec)

Body Found By Saugatuck Shores

Just past 8:30 this morning, Max Haslett was walking his dog on Harbor Road.

The Westport teenager goes to a private school in Fairfield. On Friday, he does not have classes.

As he tossed a ball, heading from Saugatuck Island toward Duck Pond, he saw an outline in the mud. As Max got closer, he realized it was the body of a man.

With gray hair, he appeared to be in his 60s or 70s. He wore a jacket and jeans, but no shoes.

Max called his father, then the Westport police.

Several officers arrived almost immediately. As they worked together — taking care of the deceased man, checking a boat anchored in the area — they also made sure Max was okay.

Max told “06880” that he was concerned for the man’s family, and impressed with the quick and thorough police response.

Foul play is not suspected, Westport Police Lieutenant Jillian Cabana says. Detectives and the Chief Medical Examiner continue to investigate.

The approximate spot on Harbor Road where a body was found earlier today.

Slow Boat From China?

Earlier today, alert “06880” photographer Irene Penny spotted this craft moored off Harbor Road.

(Photo/Irene Penny)

(Photo/Irene Penny)

A neighbor said it was a friend’s “Chinese boat.”

That’s all Irene and I know.

If you have any more info, click “comments” below.

No Safe Harbor On Saugatuck Shores

Saugatuck Shores was on the agenda at a recent board of selectmen meeting. They considered 2 petitions: one for speed bumps on Harbor Road, the other against.

Alert “06880” reader Gene Borio doesn’t have a horse in that race. He lives on Canal Road, a 600-yard straightaway. That’s where he’d like to see speed bumps. Or at least a speed-activated sign (which residents have requested, to no avail).

But Gene has another issue with Harbor Road: the new sea wall. In his opinion, it’s waaaay too close to the road. Strolling, jogging, biking, dog-walking — all are now life-in-your-hands situations.

In just half an hour the other day, he saw:

Harbor Road 1

Harbor Road 3

Harbor Road 2

While Gene was taking these photos, a contractor asked what he was shooting.

“The beautiful view, of course,” Gene said.

“And the sea wall. I think it’s too close to the road.”

“Yeah!” the contractor replied. “Why couldn’t they have moved it back 3 feet?!”

Gene thinks that would be tough. But, he says, 1 1/2 to 2 feet could be doable.

As for the traffic photos: “There’s a lot worse than this going on every day,” he says.

Like this shot:

Harbor Road 4

There are no cars nearby — but there could be.

And that’s without speed bumps.

 

Calming Saugatuck Shores

Every neighborhood has its own traffic concerns. Folks living near the Bayberry Lane/Easton Road intersection are debating a roundabout and stop signs. On North Kings Highway, speeders have slowed considerably since speed humps were installed.

The other day, Janet Tatusko checked in with a report from Saugatuck Shores. A lot is happening in that lovely but well-traveled corner of town.

A petition called “Lines and Signs” has helped bring walking lines and guardrails. Signs — including arrows, “Bus Stop Ahead” and “Curve Ahead” — have been installed.

Trees have been cut back, to improve sight lines. Neighbors initiated an educational campaign (“Drive Like Your Kids Live Here”).

"Drive Like Your Kids Live Here," says a sign near the beginning of Harbor Road.

“Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” says a sign near the beginning of Harbor Road.

But drivers still speed, Janet says — and walkers are afraid they’ll be pinned against the guardrails on blind curves.

A traffic survey last August showed that 32,274 vehicles entered Harbor Road. 27,109 exceeded the 25 mph speed limit. One driver reached 65.

During the school year, Janet says, “over 28 kids would normally be out there — except not one mother will let them. So a big bus comes down tiny Covelee Road, and stops at each home. No one can walk, jog, bike, etc. It’s another Shake Shack waiting to happen.”

A guardrail separates  Harbor Road from the water.

A guardrail separates Harbor Road from the water.

Harbor Road is a residential street — but also the main route to Saugatuck Island. There are 200 homes, and a yacht club at the end.

Interestingly, the recent sewer project helped. Potholes have slowed cars and trucks considerably. However, truck traffic has increased since last fall, as construction vehicles heading to homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy are a constant presence.

Janet, Frank DiScala and others are figuring out what’s needed to help walkers, bicyclists, joggers, moped riders, pets and kids.

They’ve worked closely with Police Chief Dale Call, the Fire Department, Public Works and the Department of Transportation. Recently they met with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. The Fire Department has agreed to put in a speed hump.

Harbor Road is narrow, windy -- and very, very scenic.

Harbor Road is narrow, windy — and very, very scenic.

But Janet, Francis and the others have not forgotten aesthetics. They’d like to see potted plant holders in the middle of the road. (Think Soundview, the Compo Beach exit road.)

They’re talking about a park-like entrance to Harbor Road and Saugatuck Shores, including an elevated planter box, flowers, and welcome signs.

Sounds like some solid solutions for a neighborhood that feels under siege — for reasons both natural and man-made.

But what a shame that we have to put up signs — anywhere in town — reminding each other to “Drive Your Kids Live Here.”

Harbor Road continues over a canal. This handsome sign marks the entrance to Saugatuck Island.

Harbor Road continues over a canal. This handsome sign marks the entrance to Saugatuck Island.