Improving Traffic Safety

To the Editor:

Over the past few weeks I have read with interest several letters concerning the speed tables on Queen Street. About nine years ago, shortly after buying properties on Queen Street, I attended my first meeting to discuss traffic issues on Queen Street. I left that meeting thinking that action would be taken.

After attending numerous meetings with various groups and discussing the problem with anyone who would listen, including Bruce Walczak, who was then on the Police Commission, I always felt we were just about to see action. It was Bruce, in fact, who encouraged me to engage in the process, including the writing of a formal letter of request, attending meetings, and circulating a petition among the residents of Queen Street, which my wife accomplished.

I attended Police Commission meetings on several occasions, presented the letter and later the petition. The process as outlined certainly helped move the project along.  I was greatly relieved this week when the speed tables were finally in place. Speed tables were tried on Glover and North Queen first (one almost in front of Bruce Walczak’s house) and seemed to me to be successful. I was surprised and disappointed when they were removed, as I understand it residents objected to them. I am glad that at least the cross walks remain since I use them on a regular basis.

The improvement of the traffic signals at the Church Hill/Queen St. intersection and at the entrance to Big Y, have greatly improved safety in that area. The Police Commission has taken, and I am sure will continue to take, a more comprehensive look at controlling traffic in town. I would hope all citizens would work together to make Newtown a safer place for everyone.

The center of Newtown is beautiful thanks to the efforts of many individuals, however the problem of fast moving traffic on Main Street is a concern to me and of course many others. I think increased signage north and south of town would help (an attractive sign that says Welcome to Newtown a New England Landmark or some such phrase followed by signs “please drive safely”.) Aggressive enforcement would also help slow down traffic. I often cross at the 302 intersection and must be careful of those who make a right on red without even slowing down even when the walk light is on.

I understand the state limits what we as a town can do but, within those limits, we should take steps to control speed. The same is true of Church Hill and the streets intersecting Church Hill. I have been passed innumerable times on the narrow Boulevard by cars far exceeding the 25 mph limit.

Let’s all slow down and enjoy the beauty of Newtown and work together to make it safer.


John S. Boccuzzi

61 Queen Street Newtown               July 12, 2013

More stories like this: Police Commission, traffic, Queen Street


Queen Street

John thanks for your letter.
John is correct when he said I guided him through the traffic calming process. He had expressed his disappointment that nothing had happen on Queen since the ordinance for traffic calming had been passed. I let him know that the Police Commission had posted proceedures for asking for traffic calming, but no one from Queen Street had taken any action under the ordiancne and proceedures. The residents seemed to feel they should not have to go through the posted proceedures. Other Queen Street residents had been told previously at Police Commission meetings how to move forward with none taking any action. I offered to help John. My position of the Commission made it my responsibility to help residents to understand how to request traffic calming under the ordinance.

I am in support and always have been of curtailing speeders. The original $70,000 consulting study made many recommendations including 3 speed bumps on Southern Queen. It now has five. It is an insult to the town. I do not think speed bumps are the best tool to calm traffic. There are other options such as bulb outs which reduce the width of the road at intervals thus slowing traffic but no putting bumps in the road. Cross walks also help and actually provide some pedestrian saftey for residents, the bumps do not. The Police Commission did not explore alternatives, nor did they use money budgetd to study what traffic calming on Queen could be employeed which would not also divert traffic.

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