In a town filled with traffic lights and stop signs, you’d think one of the busiest and most confusing intersections in town would be tightly regulated.
You’d be wrong.
The Weston Road/Easton Road/Main Street clusterf*** has long defied explanation. Despite traffic funneling from downtown, Cross Highway, the Coleytown area, Weston and the Merritt Parkway — and headed out in all those directions — the confusing, chaotic and dangerous area remains a transportation Wild West.
Quite a welcome to Westport, for those coming off the Merritt. Quite a potential death trap, for all of us.
Over the years, a variety of recommendations have been floated. They range from traffic lights everywhere, to an English/Massachusetts-style roundabout/rotary, to blowing the whole thing up and starting over. (Just kidding on the last one.) (Kind of.)
Recently, Facebook’s Westport Front Porch page has provided a place to discuss the intersection everyone loves to hate.
Jeff Mitchell used Google Earth View to explain his ideas for improvement. Now he’s shared them with “06880.”
First he showed the current situation:
To orient yourself: Weston Road near Cross Highway is at the lower right; Merritt Parkway Exit 42 is just off the top of the photo, in the upper left. Traffic coming from downtown on Main Street is at the lower left.
Next, Jeff offers Solution #1:
It would make the section of Main Street from near the Merritt to the merge by the old Daybreak Florist 1-way, headed toward town.
That would eliminate 2 hazardous merges — in front of Daybreak, and going to the Merritt — but would make life tough for people living on Wassell Lane.
It would also shunt more traffic into the Weston Road/Easton Road intersection. However, Jeff says, replacing the current blinking yellow light with a full stop light — perhaps for rush hour only — could move traffic more quickly to and from the Merritt.
Jeff’s 2nd solution is this:
It would convert all current merges to 3-way stops. This would eliminate all hazardous merges, while keeping Main Street 2-way.
There would be more “formal” stopping and starting — though perhaps no more than currently occurs, with hesitation over who goes when.
Solution #2 would involve construction, including possibly moving a utility pole.
Jeff met last weekend with Avi Kaner. The 2nd selectman had posted several other complex alternatives on Westport Front Porch. They’d been proposed by state engineers in the past. All would take eons to approve and construct — and may include the contentious taking of land by eminent domain.
Of course, these are state roads. It’s their decision what to do, and when.
“06880” readers: What do you think? Click “Comments” to weigh in on Jeff’s plans — or offer your own.
And if you like it just the way it is, we’d love to know why.