Safety study will look at Route 7 intersection
A citizen’s campaign to improve the safety at the intersection of Ashbee Lane and Route 7 has won a commitment from the state to study the area’s sight lines.
“Seems like we’ll have a study!” James Russell told The Press.
Russell, who has championed the issue, shared an email he’d received from Alexander Romanowicz, a legislative aide to State Sen. Will Haskell, one of numerous town and state officials he’d contacted about the problem in recent weeks.
“This is to confirm the Division of Traffic Engineering’s response to State Senator Will Haskell’s request of the safety review of Route 7 (Ethan Allen Highway) at Ashbee Lane in the town of Ridgefield,” the Sept. 27 email from Romanowicz said. “The Department is not aware of any previous reviews regarding the limited sight line when merging on Route 7 (Ethan Allen Highway) from Ashbee Lane in Ridgefield.
“Requests such as these are typically made by the Local Traffic Authority (LTA) of a town. On behalf of Senator Haskell, we contacted the LTA representative of Ridgefield (Chief of Police Jeff Kreitz), who then officially requested the Department to perform a study of this location.
“The Department will follow up with an update of our findings and provide a summary of our results when complete. The investigation could take up to several months to complete.”
Romanowicz added, “If you have any questions, please let me know!”
Russell thought that sight lines at the intersection were obstructed, and drivers pulling out of Ashbee Lane didn’t have an adequate view when looking north at southbound traffic on Route 7.
He’d gotten 30 residents of three roads that heavily use the intersection — Ashbee Lane, Richardson Drive and Kingswood Place — to sign a petition requesting that the safety of the area be addressed.
His email to officials had included photographs he’d taken after witnessing an Aug. 29 accident.
Town officials who’d been contacted by Russell were glad to hear that the state would be looking at the intersection’s safety.
Police Chief Kreitz confirmed he’d approached the state Department of Transportation (DOT) about the concern.
“A few weeks ago, I sent an email to the State DOT requesting that a formal review be conducted of the Ashbee Lane/Ethan Allen Highway intersection,” Chief Kreitz told The Press. “I welcome the study and I am interested in seeing its findings.”
After Russell raised the issue, First Selectman Rudy Marconi had spoken of having the town look into the matter — being a little doubtful the state would do anything.
“I welcome the study,” Marconi said. “My concern has more to do with fixing the problem but we will see what the study says. Thank you to Senator Haskell...”