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.
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.
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.
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.