Board of Selectmen Approve Changes to Make Several Greenwich Streets Safer
By Richard Kaufman
The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved several items during its meeting on Aug. 22 that aim to make a few streets around town safer.
Greenwich Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Marino, who also oversees the town’s Parking Services Department, and Jim Michel, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works, presented a plan that would add two, 30-minute timed parking spaces along the north side of Glenville Road at the intersection with Pemberwick Road in the area of Glenville Pizza.
The plan also calls for the addition of striping to delineate travel portions of the roadway and parking areas. The Board approved the plan unanimously.
The area has been a concern for residents throughout the years.
“These [parking spaces] will be defined so that we eliminate the possibility of people parking ad hoc,” Marino said. “One of the safety concerns we have with regard to that area, is many times people park in such a manner that a portion of the vehicle tends to extend into the travel portion of the road.”
The plan, which is a collaboration between Parking Services and the Department of Public Works, is temporary and part of a much larger project that’s being developed for that part of town, Marino said.
Funding for the long-term project is possible through a grant that DPW received from the Federal Highway Administration.
Michel said the bigger project is currently in the preliminary design stages. Current ideas involve the installation of a traffic signal at the Pemberwick, Glenville Road intersection. A continuous sidewalk would be constructed on the north side of Glenville Road, and the two parking spots would be flipped to the south side. A signalized crosswalk would be installed so pedestrians could cross the street to the pizzeria safely.
“[The road] creates a sightline issue coming around the curve, as you’re coming from Weaver Street towards Pemberwick Road,” Michel said.
The project also involves minor improvements to several intersections and sidewalks nearby. Michel noted that realistically, the design stage for the long-term project would take another year to complete before it can go out to bid, possibly next year or the year after.
“We’re talking two to three years before the full project would be implemented,” added Michel.
The Selectmen also unanimously approved the establishment of a 25 mph speed limit on Meadow Drive in Cos Cob.
A resident made the request out of concern for child safety on the road, as there previously was no posted limit. First Selectman, Peter Tesei, said that establishing a 25 mph speed limit on Berge Street and Grove Street “would be reasonable and appropriate” since they connect to Meadow Drive.
Selectman Sandy Litvack asked Michel if Greenwich had a town-wide speed limit.
“That’s an old wive’s tale. In the state of Connecticut, there’s no such thing as establishing a town-wide speed limit,” Michel said, noting that in order to establish speed limits, they each must go through municipal government and then state government to become official.
“There are many roads in town that do not have speed limits on them. The police have explained to me that if someone’s driving 50 mph down a road and they get in an accident or hit something, they can’t get a speeding ticket. This is a statewide issue,” Michel explained.
The Board also approved a 25 mph speed limit for Hearthstone Drive in Riverside. A resident raised concern over the proximity of Eastern Middle School, Riverside Elementary School and the safety of pedestrians in the area.