Letter: Traffic Calming Measures Necessary

To the Editor,

As former Director of the Cos Cob Schools Safe Routes to School Traffic Calming Initiative in the 2000s, I find it extremely disturbing that Greenwich’s Department of Public Works has been systematically removing, eliminating or lessening traffic calming devices throughout the Town. Volunteers wrote letters and lobbied the Town for traffic calming devices. As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars were appropriated for speed humps, signed cross walks, traffic circles, etc.

DPW helped to implement them and continued doing so for several years.

The statistics on pedestrian injuries from collisions with cars exponentially diminish with a decrease in vehicle speeds. According to a U.S. Dept. of Transportation study; at 30 miles per hour, the death rate from a vehicular collision is approximately 45%; at 20 miles per hour roughly 5% of pedestrians would not survive (See https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/pub/hs809012.html.

DPW has now reversed course, paying little heed to the residents and taken it upon themselves to eliminate or lessen several traffic calming devices. They removed the pedestrian crosswalk bump outs in Cos Cob. They lowered the speed humps on Highview and Park Avenues in Old Greenwich to a size that is totally ineffective in slowing cars to a safe speed. Both are cut through streets, filled with children. They also removed the traffic circle at Old Greenwich School and the choker island at the intersection of Sound Beach Ave. with Lockwood Ave., prior to paving. Both were expensively built with brick and block borders. Manholes were left in place after removing the old asphalt preparing for new pavement. Why not the same for the circle and chocker island?

I trust that DPW has plans to replace the traffic circle and choker after paving. I hope they will be raised similar to the circle on Haveymeyer Lane bordering OG that Stamford constructed; quite effective and is not adjacent to an elementary school.

Hopefully whoever is elected in our upcoming First Selectman race or our current elected officials can do something about our current car centric DPW. A most hopeful promise I have heard from a politician in many years was from Fred Camillio at the Republican First Selectman Forum held in the second week of July. He is concerned about and looking to remedy the situation at Town Hall where many of the management personnel running our Government do not live in Town.                   

Jim O’Brien

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