Letter:Traffic, tolls and leadership
To the Editor:
Job No. 1 of our Board of Selectmen is protecting Ridgefield’s quality of life.
First Selectman Rudy Marconi has been in Harford three times supporting tolls. He advocates for all the benefits to Connecticut, but does not account for the negative impacts on Ridgefield. Why has our Board of Selectmen not reviewed or voted on this?
I have lived in Ridgefield for 29 years, and it’s impossible not to notice more vehicles on the road and increased traffic congestion in Ridgefield, especially on the Route 7/35 corridor.
The Town of Ridgefield and the Housatonic Valley Council did a 2005 Route 35 traffic improvement study to develop recommendations for the 6.7-mile stretch from Route 7/35 to the N.Y. state line. The 2005 report said traffic volumes ranged from 10,500 to 14,000 vehicles per day. Today, estimates are 14,000 to 17,000 vehicles. The 2005 study said 19% of those vehicles, or 2,800 to 3,400 vehicles per day use Ridgefield as a cut through.
Gov. Lamont is still advocating tolls. The Danbury Chamber of Commerce estimates that 125,000 cars a day go through Danbury. Every 1% diverted traffic represents 1,250 vehicles. That’s almost a 10% increase on Ridgefield’s traffic, and the number could potentially run much higher. Consider how this will impact our roads, air quality, taxes and overall quality of life.
This issue also impacts Ridgebury off exit 1. The Beaver Brook neighborhood is now seeing over 300 cars a day each way during commute hours. Tolls will make this worse.
We need our Board of Selectmen to get engaged, fight tolls and work to improve our traffic problems.
St. Johns Road, Sept. 20
Editor’s note: The letter writer is a candidate for the Board of Selectmen.