Letter: Town, state responsible for fixing dangerous Rec Center intersection

To the Editor:

Recently, aluminum standing-strips on the northbound “shoulder” of Route 35 deterred vehicles from passing vehicles waiting to turn left into Rec Center/Founders Hall complex. They were removed and nothing has replaced them. Cars and trucks have resumed passing on the right. This reckless driving poses a recurring danger for multi-vehicle collisions with cars leaving and entering from and onto Route 35.

Every day numerous vehicles swing onto the so-called right “shoulder,” with the danger enhanced by a low curved berm, installed directly across the Route 35 T-intersection. Last Thursday morning, I was driving from town on Route 35 and observed, from a few car lengths back, a Ryder rental truck as it swung past to the right of a passenger car waiting to turn left into the Rec Center. Instead of waiting behind the stopped vehicle, the truck swung right onto the “shoulder” to pass. Suddenly, when it tried to get back in lane, its right wheels caught the low berm and rocked for an instant, as its load shifted. Fortunately, it avoided losing control and tipping over into either the oncoming southbound traffic; or flipping right into the below-grade culvert.

It is a matter of time before something tragic occurs at this high-volume T-intersection at Route 35, with its many older drivers and younger ones, too, transporting many children. Remedial blocking or other preventative measures must be taken at this northbound, so-called passing lane “shoulder” to deter this reckless driving maneuver.

This letter is written with the hope from a concerned citizen that it will spur responsible town and/or state roadway and supervisory officials to undertake immediate steps to protect the public safety at this hazardous “accidents-waiting-to-happen” crash site.

Joseph W. Bellacosa

Danbury Road, Sept. 10