To the Editor:
Editorial Ink Drops July 19, 2013, indicated that over a year ago you encouraged a “comprehensive strategy to address traffic problems in the center of town.” You mention that among past recommendations, including those in the 2006 “Queen Street Area Traffic Improvement Plan,” speed tables were suggested. You also allude to the fact that a lack of money has prevented “as with all grand plans” anything from moving forward. All agree that a larger project is needed to solve the problems. You choose to criticize an affordable and effective solution to one of the problems, namely the speed of cars on Queen Street and offer no specific alternatives. You indicate that the speed tables are designed to divert traffic. A study was done which indicated this is not true and I can attest to the fact that Queen Street continues to serve as a well-used cut through street for traffic between the retail district and other areas of town. I have no problem with the amount of traffic on my street — if one lives in town on a through street he can expect heavy traffic. The speed of the traffic is, and has been, the concern here.
Speed tables are used widely in many towns and have been for many years. Before moving to Newtown we lived in Stamford and fought for ten years to get speed tables on our street. When they were finally installed they slowed traffic as effectively as the tables on Queen Street have slowed traffic. If you go to Fairfield you will find heavy use of four-way intersections to calm traffic. In Westport one of the roads commonly used as a cut through from the Merritt Parkway to Route 1 has speed tables. I only mention all this because there is nothing unusual about tackling speeding issues with traffic calming devices.
May I suggest that you take that broader view that you suggest. Make some positive specific recommendations; think about this: 1. Main Street is a residential street so Route 25 should not run down Main Street; it should combine with I-84 at Entrance 9 and leave I-84 at Exit 11. Scenic Route 25A could move through Newtown which I believe gives more flexibility to the town in making decisions. 2. The same could be done with Route 6. My point is that the bigger picture as you mention needs a regional view, it needs Newtown residents working together chipping away at the problems where possible (for instance, with the addition of signage indicating you are entering a thickly settled or residential area) while also working toward bigger solutions. Experience has shown that the solution to a problem often requires a multifaceted approach. What do you say we work together and encourage others to work together to get some things done rather than finger point, criticize and fight for the right to maintain the status quo because somewhere around the corner might be the big answer.
John S. Boccuzzi, Sr
61 Queen Street, Newtown July 22, 2013