Letter: To police commissioners: What about our roads?

To the Editor:

I encourage the candidates for Police Commission (Marcie Coffin, Joe Savino, and Tom Reynolds) to share their response to residents’ concerns about traffic on local streets. Recent letters to The Press have highlighted the problems on Remington Road and Rockwell Road.  These concerns exist on many other local roads in our town.

Currently police response is limited to sporadic radar patrols and use of the speed trolley. This is insufficient for several reasons. Speed is only part of the problem. Many of our local roads have blind hills, blind driveways and blind curves. Even 25 mph combined with steady traffic creates hazardous conditions for children at bus stops, residents exiting driveways and walkers. Patrols are understandably reluctant to enforce speeds up to 30 mph. Further, patrols can’t be available at all times or even with any frequency. Routine radar patrol also takes police away from other responsibilities.

Better approaches to traffic calming are available, less expensive and have been used successfully in neighboring towns:

  1. Speed bumps are used widely throughout town on private property as well as the high school. This is the most effective control.
  2. Stop signs at regular intervals.
  3. Limit certain roads to “no through traffic.”
  4. Limit entry to “shortcut” roads at peak hours (examples: Ridgefield Avenue in South Salem, Newtown Turnpike at intersection with Route 53 in Redding, the traffic barrier at the north end of Fox Hill condominiums).

Letters to The Press and to the Police Commission from townspeople have specifically mentioned these approaches.

Candidates: What should our Police Commission do to respond?

John Phillips

Poplar Road, Oct. 13