Baseball field gets hearing May 16
Field safety and traffic concerns have irked several neighbors who feel Ridgefield Little League should find a new location for its proposed baseball stadium at 2 Sanford Station Road — a plot of land that currently sits at the intersection of Simpaug Turnpike and Route 7.
The lighted field, which will received public hearing Tuesday, May 16, has drawn opposition from both Ridgefield and Redding residents since plans were unveiled in early April.
Redding resident Tim Keyes and his wife, Jennifer, said they are worried about traffic — for beginners. They also have qualms with ticks, noise pollution, and lights.
“The design and thoughtfulness that went into it — it all looks fantastic, I wish I was a kid again and had access,” Keyes told The Press, “But I would not want to play ball on a field close to the highway, in a tick infested area.”
The Keyes said that about 30 other neighbors — some on the Ridgefield side, others on the Redding side — have expressed negative feelings towards the field’s chosen location, which is on a vacant lot that the town leases from the state.
“They’ve attempted to put lights and PA systems in other Ridgefield fields, and they all objected to that,” said Keyes.
“So, what they’re doing here is pushing it as far away from Ridgefield as they can, and forcing their kids and cars to go far away because they don’t want it anywhere near them,” he said.
Jennifer Keyes said she’s concerned about the possible safety hazard.
“I am a sports parent. My kids play lacrosse and soccer, and I’ve seen some fields that were a little dicey,” she said.
“If I think about my kids playing on this proposed site, it makes me nervous with the proximity of the highway.”
Above all, they believe the impact on traffic patterns, especially during rush hour, will substantially decrease their quality of life.
A traffic study, done by engineers hired by the Little League, determined an additional 35 to 50 cars going in and out of the field during games and practices.
“More than 1,700 cars an hour go by this particular intersection during peak rush hour —
that is about one every two seconds,” said Tim Keyes citing a state traffic study.
“So imagine 30 cars getting off at Route 7 for a game that’s starting; and a previous game that’s simultaneously trying to get 30 cars onto the highway.”
The Keyes think that running a drill with volunteers driving their cars could yield more accurate results.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the field’s impact and proposed plans at Tuesday’s public hearing at the town hall annex scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.