Tag Archives: Westport traffic

[OPINION] Everyone Talks About Traffic. Now We Need To Do Something About It.

Last Saturday’s traffic was INSANE. In late afternoon, it took one “06880” reader half an hour to travel from McDonald’s to downtown. Another spent 40 minutes getting from the Post Road to the train station.

Side roads were no better. Cars backed up on Cross Highway from Weston Road all the way to Bayberry Lane.

This was a particularly bad Thanksgiving weekend mess. But more and more, it’s the norm.

An alert “06880” who asked to be identified as GS has had enough. He writes:

I’ve lived in town a long time. I’ve seen the traffic get worse and worse.

You can’t get from here to there anymore. I envision a not-too-distant future in which our property values go down, because traffic has become what Westport is best known for.

One familiar scene …

Anyone who was on the road last Saturday around 6 p.m. can attest: You could have gotten where you were going faster walking than driving.

Do you commute to and from New York by car? It used to be that once you got past Stamford, you were home free. Now you spend 20 minutes just between exits 40 and 41 on the Merritt.

If you’re on I-95 and get off at Exit 17,  you’re dead in the water. If you continue on to 18, there is a 5-minute backup on the exit ramp.

Heading from Cross Highway toward Exit 42 at the wrong time of day? That’s a joke. I could go on and on.

and another.

For starters, there has to be an immediate ban on development. More people equals more cars.

Then you have to systematically examine the traffic patterns of every intersection, and the timing of every light. Yes, I’m sorry, you will need to replace some of those stop signs with traffic lights.

A few traffic officers stationed in the right places at the right times of day would provide some relief.

We need a plan, and it has to start with limiting new buildings.

Maybe we need to form a special commission. Or perhaps appoint a traffic czar.

Whatever we decide, we have to do something. Traffic in Westport has reached a crucial point.

Another Day. Another I-95 Accident. Another Nightmare On The Roads Of Westport.

Why is this morning different from all other mornings?

It isn’t.

An accident in Darien — Darien! — caused commuters to abandon I-95 (and the alternate Merritt Parkway route).

Backups spilled all the way to Westport. Jammed-up local streets included the Post Road, Greens Farms Road, Bridge Street, Riverside Avenue, Wilton Road, Coleytown Road, Main Street, even Parker Harding Plaza.

First selectman candidates are welcome to click “Comments” below, and let us know what — if anything — you think can be done to address this near-daily situation.

Backed-up westbound traffic on the Post Road, a few minutes ago. (Photo/Chip Stephens)

Ban All Post Road Parking?

Today’s post comes from someone who moved to Westport in the mid-1960s. The writer prefers anonymity. “My reward will come when traffic improves,” the author says.

There are many great things about Westport, like its public school system, Compo Beach and Longshore. These are great because the town spends much time and money on them.

Unfortunately, one area that affects more people than any other: the Post Road.

It is used every day by everyone who lives, works or travels through Westport. Traffic gets worse each year, as more cars and trucks are on the road. They get bigger and park anywhere they like, blocking entire lanes. Yet no effort is made to remedy the situation.

The worst congestion is downtown, at the intersection of Main Street. This problem is caused primarily by private cars using a public road for free parking. In order to conveniece 20 or so people and perhaps a dozen commercial establishments, we permit them to inconvenience 20,000 or more people a day.

Westporters have parked on the Post Road since at least the time of the Fine Arts Theater. It opened in 1916.

Westporters have parked on the Post Road since at least the time of the Fine Arts Theater (now Restoration Hardware). The movie house opened in 1916.

We can help this situation with a few simple changes. First, there should be no parking on either side of the Post Road, from one end of town to the other.

Synchronizing the traffic light on both sides of the downtown bridge would also help. Eliminating left turns on the Post Road (except at turning lanes with lights) should be considered. Restricting large delivery trucks from the center of town to nighttime delivery hours would help.

I can hear town government people protesting, “Route 1 is a state road. We have no control over it. We are helpless.” Demand help from the state. Don’t we have representatives in Hartford? Don’t we vote? Don’t we pay state taxes?

Others will say, having 2 unobstructed lanes through town will cause more speeders and accidents. Have you not heard of overhead cameras that mail speeders $150 tickets?

Revitalization of downtown Westport is unlikely without solving our traffic problems.