Tag Archives: Hillspoint Road

The View From Hillspoint

Last week’s story about the new house rising on the site of the old Positano restaurant drew many comments. The site — kitty corner from Elvira Mae’s — is one of the most cherished in Westport.

One reader complained that the new structure blocks views of the public water. She implied that it ruined “a half mile of a walk along the beach on a sidewalk.”

Artists’ rendering of the house going up at 233 Hillspoint Road.

In fact, that ship sailed long ago.

What once was a lovely view — from Schlaet’s Point at the end of Soundview (where Hillspoint Road turns into South Compo), along the gentle curve and on toward Old Mill — has been privatized.

A large home at 261 Hillspoint replaced an open-air boathouse. One of Westport’s first mammoth faux stone walls sealed the house — and the view — off from passersby. (It’s now on the market. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.)

The stone wall at 261 Hillspoint Road.

More recently, a wooden fence and high hedge have hidden all of Old Mill Beach, and that part of the Sound, from nearly everyone’s eyes.

A small section of beach — owned by Hillspoint residents across the street — has always been private. But until the last few years — 10, maybe? — it was bordered only by an unobtrusive chain link fence. Now there’s a green equivalent of the Berlin Wall.

There are a few breaks in the obstructed view from #261 to Old Mill, of course. A small public access road provides relief; so does the clear view from #254 across the street.

The unobstructed view across from 254 Hillspoint.

A break for a beach view.

But that’s it, until you get to the public Old Mill Beach.

Last week’s “06880” story also generated comments about the sidewalk. Readers worried that it will be removed from the new house, forcing walkers into the street.

The property owner assures Westporters there will be a sidewalk in front.

Sidewalks have concerned residents and visitors for years.

A couple of years ago, Robin Tauck — who owns the beautiful new beach house directly across from Elvira Mae’s — paid for a sidewalk survey. She worried about people walking in the road, right past her driveway.

The roadway opposite Elvira Mae’s.

A sidewalk extension from 233 Hillspoint Road to Old Mill Beach is in the works. Plans are done. The town is waiting for a state grant.

Hundreds of folks walk in that area daily. With the opening of Elvira Mae’s ice cream window, foot traffic has increased dramatically. When — er, if — a sidewalk is built there, it will be an important safety addition.

Meanwhile, folks will continue to stroll from there to Compo Beach. They can say what they want about the view — when Positano was there, and now during residential construction.

But they can’t say it’s the only thing blocking their view.

Ins And Outs Of Post Road Shopping Centers

On July 8, representatives from Connecticut’s Department of Transportation gave a public presentation on proposed work on the Post Road. Much of it involves the stretch between Fresh Market, and the Roseville/Hillspoint Road intersection.

The $5.3 million project (80% federally funded, 20% state funds) would include special left-turn-only lanes, as well as traffic signals, curbing, curb ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Proposals for the Post Road near Fresh Market.

Alert “06880” reader Jennifer Johnson agrees with many of the ideas. However, she also has concerns. She wrote the DOT about several, including the need for a sidewalk on the south side from Mitchells to the fire station, and care of the cherry trees in front of the Volvo dealer.

However, what really caught my eye was this:

Eliminate multiple single-property curb cuts. There are an excessive number of curb cuts (17) on both sides of the road, from the traffic light at Fresh Market to the light at Roseville/Hillspoint Road.

The number of curb cuts is a source of danger to people regardless of how they travel (foot, car or bicycle). Now is the time to correct problems that have evolved as the Post Road developed.

There are many ways in and out of the shopping centers, and adjacent lots.

I never thought about that — but now that I have, it makes a lot of sense.

Why do we need so many entrances and exits at Fresh Market? Across the street, there are also a number of ways to get into and out of the Dunkin’ Donuts/UPS Store/Westport Hardware/Mumbai Times lot. (No one ever calls it by its official no-meaning name, Village Center.)

There are other spots in town too with multiple entrances and exits, like Stop & Shop, and Aux Delices/Carvel/Stiles.

There are only a couple of ways in and out of the CVS/Trader Joe’s clusterf***. But at the end of her email, Jennifer notes that this intersection appears to have been ignored by DOT.

Finally, she asks that one person be appointed to oversee and coordinate all of DOT’s Westport projects (there are others besides the Fresh Market initiative).

Great idea! I nominate Jennifer Johnson for the job.

(For full details of the project on the Westport town website, click here. Questions about the Post Road project can be sent to  the CT DOT project manager: Brian.Natwick@ct.com)

Proposed work at the Post Road/Roseville/Hillspoint intersection.

The Nor’easter Missed Us. Still…

We avoided torrential rain. The 50-mph wind gusts never came.

Still, Westport did not escape today’s rains. And — with the moon nearly full — floods were reported all over town.

This is the new normal.

There was no outdoor dining today at Arezzo restaurant. (Photo/Scott Rownin)

At Parker Harding Plaza, flood gates seem not to have been deployed. Water poured in to the nail salon. (Photo/Chip Stephens)

Old Mill Beach got pounded … (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

… as did nearby Hillspoint Road. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

This was the scene at South Compo Road, near Bradley Street … (Photo/Chip Stephens)

… and around the corner, Bradley Street and Fairfield Avenue. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Additional flooding was reported at Wilton Road and Post Road West; Imperial Avenue near Baker Avenue, and Harbor and Canal Roads on Saugatuck Shores.

Tomorrow should be partly cloudy, with a high near 55. Winds will be 5-10 mph.

Photo Challenge #190

Westport is chock full of kayaks.

They’re stacked at Compo Beach, Longshore Sailing School, Downunder, and docks and driveways all around town.

But the kayaks in last week’s Photo Challenge were some of the most visible. They’re stored at Schlaet’s Point — specifically, in the little private park (supposedly) for Bluewater Hill residents only, next to the house at 259 Hillspoint Road with the massive stone wall and 3-flag pole.

We all pass by them often. But only Matt Murray, Rich Stein, Joelle Harris Malec and Sarah Hock knew exactly where they were. Kayak kudos to you! (Click here to see Amy Schneider’s shot.)

Here is this week’s Photo Challenge:

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

If the location rings a bell, click “Comments” below. And if you’ve got the back story to it, let us know too.

Photo Challenge #184

“06880” readers circled around last week’s Photo Challenge.

Some thought Patricia McMahon’s image of 3 concrete pillars — framed by ivy — came from Compo Beach. (Click here for the photo.)

Others figured Burying Hill Beach or Cockenoe Island.

In fact, it was the former Positano’s. Before that, the restaurant was Cafe de la Plage (and others).

Always, it’s been on Hillspoint Road between Old Mill and Compo.

Elaine Marino finally got the right answer, at 9 p.m. Sunday. She added: “I presume they were put there to prevent patrons from parking on the grass behind Positano’s.”

I presume plenty of people will look for those pillars on their next beach walk.

This week’s Photo Challenge shows a spot many Westporters know. Others have never heard of it.

It’s well worth a visit. If you know where you’d go to see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Chip Stephens)

Pic Of The Day #354

The old Positano restaurant on Hillspoint Road (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Pics Of The Day #317

Four water views, from Hillspoint Road:

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

(Photo/Briana Walegir)

One Reason Schools Are Now Closed

This was Hillspoint Road, near Hales Road, a few minutes ago:

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Similar scenes are repeated throughout Westport, after last night’s rain-and-wind storm.

We were one of the hardest hit towns in the area. Eversource reports over 3,200 customers without power — 26% of its customers.

If my situation is any indication, it might be a while before it’s restored. I reported my outage — near Playhouse Square — via their website, and got this reply:

Our outage reporting system is currently unavailable. Please contact us at 800-826-2000 and a representative would be happy to assist you with reporting your outage. We apologize for the inconvenience.

I called. The wait time is 28 minutes.

Which pales, I know, in comparison to Puerto Rico. Six weeks after Hurricane Maria, up to 80% of the island is still without power.

Pic Of The Day #112

Old Mill Beach: The view from Hillspoint Road (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

Ka-Boom!

A tree fell earlier today on Hillspoint Road, by the Conservative Synagogue. It brought down utility lines, cutting power to over 50 customers. The traffic light at the Post Road by McDonald’s was out too.

A tree falls on Hillspoint Road

Darcy Hicks — who lives nearby — took this shot. Apparently her brother Tyler — the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer — is not the only Hicks family member with an eye for dramatic news images.