Input sought about town's traffic
Updated 10:54 am, Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Would a roundabout at Still River Drive and Pickett District Road in New Milford solve the traffic issue there?
Would reconnecting Gabriel Circle to Route 67 -- for a right-hand turn only -- solve traffic tie-ups for Grove Street motorists?
These were some of the possible solutions offered by 20 New Milford residents Tuesday during a workshop held by Fitzgerald & Halliday, the firm conducting a traffic study for the town.
"Downtown New Milford is like an hour glass," explained Michael Morehouse, project manager with Fitzgerald & Halliday. "It's in the junction of three state highways with not many river crossings.
"Any growth in the region will be felt by New Milford's downtown," Morehouse added. "Still, solutions to routing increased traffic want to be incorporated with preserving the downtown's rich pedestrian history. Downtown is a walker's paradise."
Morehouse and his team have been in town for several months collecting data and studying the terrain. An online survey for traffic concerns can be accessed from the link to the Public Works Department on the town's website.
"We have our data. We have enough to move forward," said Francisco Gomes, senior planner with Fitzgerald & Halliday. "What we need now is resident input. You know your town and may come up with some things we haven't considered yet."
By Tuesday, 235 residents had taken the online survey. The majority cited improvements to traffic congestion should take top priority in the study.
Still River Drive is the most popular route from and to Route 7 south as cited by survey takers for accessing and leaving the downtown.
Survey takers use Veterans Memorial Bridge on a regular basis, crossing the bridge more than 20 times a week.
Workshop participants Tuesday were given photo maps of the downtown and asked to mark concerns and solutions on the maps with magic markers. They were told they would be working with limited financial resources to make changes.
The top priorities cited included change needed at the yield sign for traffic turning east across Veterans Memorial Bridge from Route 7 south; correcting the bottlenecked traffic going across the bridge by making changes to Young's Field Road; and re-routing school buses from Bridge Street, eliminating traffic tie-ups with buses stopping at the railroad tracks.