No right on red: State changes turning rules at Prospect and Main Street
Drivers used to taking the right turn from Prospect Street onto Main Street will have to be a little more patient going forward.
The state will add a “no turn on red” sign at the intersection of Main and Prospect streets, according to Police Chief Jeff Kreitz.
A similar request for a no turn on red sign in the right-turn lane on Grove Street, where the road meets Danbury Road, was denied. Kreitz told the Police Commission the Grove Street sign wasn’t approved by the state’s Department of Transportation (DoT) because the current right-hand lane has long enough sight-lines to meet the state guidelines.
“[The state DoT] approved Prospect and Main, which I 100% agree with,” Kreitz said. “They said that Grove Street didn’t fall under the standards and they weren’t going to put it up,”
“I can understand that,” said Chairman George Kain, “I think Prospect is much more dangerous.”
Pedestrian traffic is the main concern at the Prospect Street intersection.
“I’ve been saying that for years, so I’m glad that’s going up,” Kreitz added, “especially with all the pedestrian traffic there after school, and events on Main Street.”
The library also generates a lot of foot traffic, Commissioner Marcie Coffin pointed out.
The north and southbound lanes of Main Street both currently have no turn on red signs at the Prospect Street intersection. The right-hand exit from the CVS parking lot that empties out into the southbound lane of Main Street does not have a no turn on red sign.
The Grove Street intersection led to some discussion among the commissioners.
“The problem with Grove is people not stopping,” said Kain. They come “down Grove and try to shoot out onto [Route] 35.”
Coffin pointed out there has been at least one pedestrian accident at the Grove Street and Danbury Road intersection.
“It might have been a sun issue?” she asked.
“It was an early morning accident,” Kreitz agreed.
But the accident was actually caused by a car turning right off Danbury Road (also known as Route 35) onto Grove Street.
“When you take the corner, you’ve got the pillar there that’s in your way,” he said.
One of the traffic signal support columns on the south corner of Grove Street can partially block a driver’s view when they make that right-hand turn, the police chief explained.
“It wasn’t a turn on red issue, it was someone turning off of 35 onto Grove,” Kreitz said. “Sometimes someone is walking at a constant pace and they’re hidden to drivers behind the pillar.”