Tag Archives: South Compo Road

Many Hands Make Lights Work

During COVID, Westport’s eerily empty streets were a joy to drive.

A sad joy, to be sure. The other side of our unimpeded ride was knowing that so many friends and neighbors were stuck home, inside, with nowhere at all to go.

Now — thanks to vaccinations, warm weather and pandemic fatigue — traffic is back.

And it’s worse than ever.

For hours a day, backups stretch everywhere: from Route 1 and 33 almost to Fresh Market. Canal and Main Streets. All of Saugatuck.

No one can say for sure why it’s this bad. But driving in Westport really, really sucks.

Waiting in line at the Imperial Avenue light. (Photo/Dick Lowenstein)

With time on my hands the other day — I wasn’t going anywhere — I tried to think of solutions.

I wouldn’t wish another townwide quarantine on anyone. Banning Waze is not an option. (I’m as hypocritical as the rest of Westport: I happily use the app to avoid highway traffic by driving through other towns.)

So I did the next best thing. I came up with a few ideas.

For example:

Alternate red and green lights at both Wilton Road and Riverside Avenue. The awkward dance between cars heading northbound and southbound doesn’t work. One car trying to turn left from Wilton Road onto the Post Road — or left from Riverside onto Post Road West — can hold up a dozen cars behind it. So why not have green for only northbound traffic; then only green for southbound traffic; followed by what we’ve got now (first a “left turn only” for eastbound and westbound drivers, then a full green for both).

What’s the holdup? Some dude at the front of this line, trying to turn left onto the Post Road. (Photo/David Waldman)

Add a “left turn only” for drivers on South Compo, going westbound on Bridge Street. Traffic now routinely backs up under the railroad bridge.

At the same time, change the timing of the light. It’s too long for Greens Farms Road and Bridge Street drivers, not long enough for those on Compo South. (I know; a long light helps ease traffic on Greens Farms and Bridge Street when it’s backed up with I-95 overflow. Maybe shorter lights would effect Waze’s algorithm of suggesting that as an alternate route.)

A “left-turn only” arrow from South Compo to Bridge Street will make traffic flow as easily as it appears in this image from Google Maps.

Reconfigure the turning lane from Kings Highway North (where the Willows/ “Fort Apache” medical complex is on the right), onto Wilton Road. Right now the right lane is for right turns and cars going straight on Kings Highway. When one car in that lane heads straight, no one behind can turn right on red. Make the left lane for left turns and straight ahead; the right lane should be “right on red” only.

Another reason Kings Highway North should be “right turn on red” only: The left lane lines up more directly with its continuation past Wilton Road.

All of these ideas are beyond the scope of Westport officials. They’re state roads. So yeah, I know, I have a better chance of walking to the planet Zork than I do of seeing meaningful traffic light changes.

But a boy can dream.

(Do you have an idea for easing Westport’s traffic woes? Click “Comments” below. It won’t do any good — but at least “06880” readers can appreciate your brilliance.) 

Scenes From A Storm

Rain from Hurricane Elsa pounded Westport from the early morning hours until a few minutes ago.

The storm seems to have moved on — though lingering rain is still possible.

Meanwhile, here are some images from a wild morning:

A tree fell on a power line at South Compo and East Ferry Lane, sparking this fire. (Photo/Matthew Mandell)

Westport police officers were out in force, helping stranded motorists.

Myrtle Avenue floods frequently. This time it was particularly bad. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

Another view of Myrtle Avenue downtown. (Photo/Beth Goldstein)

Norwalk Avenue by Compo Beach was under water too. (Photo/Maureen Aron)

Help was ready. These trucks were part of the staging area at the train station. (Photo.Steve Mochel)

Pic Of The Day #1471

Heading south on South Compo Road, between Post Road and Greens Farms Road/Bridge Street (Drone photo/John Videler for videler.com)

Pics Of The Day #1134

Betsy Kravitz celebrates Memorial Day, on South Compo Road…

(Photo/Jimmy Izzo)

(Photo/Alexis Donnerstag)

… and with hands over hearts, a socially distanced crowd heart Gettysburg College junior Sophia Bookas play “Taps” this afternoon, at Saugatuck Sweets…

(Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris)

… while not far away, Lt. Ryan B. Weddle of the US Naval Reserves and his sons John and Ben — Cub Scouts, and Greens Farms Elementary  School students — decorated veterans’ graves at Christ & Holy Trinity Cemetery.

They honored Joseph J. Clinton, who died in France during World War I, and for whom the local VFW Post 399 is named for, as well as John H. Darrow, 28th Connecticut Volunteers, who was killed in Baton Rouge during the Civil War. 

Lt. Weddle and his sons also placed US and Navy flags at Westport’s World War I and World War II memorials, at Veterans Green.

Pic Of The Day #911

Finally! A candidate we can all agree on. (Photo/Luke Garvey)

Behind The Minute Man Wall

It’s one of the most visible properties in town.

The new Compo Road South house — finished this spring — sits just east of the Minute Man monument. It’s right next to Minute Man Hill.

But joggers, bikers and anyone driving by can’t really see it. It’s hidden by a high stone wall, topped by an equally high fence.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

Thanks to a drone and the Higgins Group website though, we get a peek at the 6-bedroom, 9-bath, 8,950-square foot home, 1-acre property. FYI, it’s “New England rustic traditional (that) interweaves with West Coast modern sensational.”

The view looking west, toward Gray’s Creek, Owenoke and Long Island Sound. The Minute Man is barely visible, near the center of the photo.

It’s quite a place. And — in an intriguing twist — the swimming pool is in front of, rather than behind, the house.

(Drone and house photos courtesy of The Higgins Group)

The asking price: $4.9 million.

But you’re too late. It’s already sold.

Photo Challenge #229

At first glance, it looks like just another nice New England scene: a tree, next to a decorative metal fence.

Then you look closely and go, Whoa!

The tree has actually grown around the fence, and the concrete steps nearby. It’s pretty cool, actually — proof that we really can’t control Mother Nature.

That image was last week’s Photo Challenge (click here to see).

But although it’s in a well-trafficked spot — South Compo Road, near the side entrance to Compo Acres Shopping Center, diagonally opposite the “Raid on Danbury” historical sign — not many readers knew where it was.

Phil Bancroft was first, followed by Michael Calise, Jo Shields and Morley Boyd.

Next time you’re stuck at that light — coming from the beach or the train station — put down your phone and take a look. You’ll have plenty of time, that’s for sure.

You can also spend time figuring out this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Wired!

Nearly every day, alert “06880” reader Morgan Mermagen runs by Longshore.

For a month she’s seen wires hanging so low, she can actually touch them.

It’s the same on Hales Road:

(Photos/Morgan Mermagen)

They’re strung through loops, and are not affixed at each pole. The slack allows them to hang low in one place, high in another.

At first Morgan thought the wires were part of a storm clean-up, and on someone’s to-do list. Now she wonders what’s going on, and why no one has done anything.

She does not know who they belong to: Eversource? Optimum? Someone else?

She hopes someone will pay attention.

Hopefully now, someone will.

Pic Of The Day #384

South Compo scene (Photo/Jay Dirnberger)

Pics Of The Day #379

One of Westport’s most beautiful — and beloved trees: On South Compo Road, in front of former 1st selectman Jacqueline Heneage’s former home. (Photo/Seth Goltzer)

And another, closer to Compo Beach. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)