Deborah Rose: Traffic flow in town is ‘absurd’
For years I’ve tried to avoid traveling through the center of New Milford at certain times of day, if at all possible.
After all, traffic congestion has long plagued the town. Vehicles have gotten bottlenecked exiting Route 7 to come over Veterans Memorial Bridge, as well at the Grove Street/Route 67 and East Street intersection, and everything in between.
It seems worse lately, and something must be done.
Ever since the traffic lights were reconfigured on Bridge and Railroad streets a few months ago, traffic is even slower in the center of town.
I regularly used to turn left onto Railroad Street from Bridge Street. I’d wait in line at the solid green and be able to turn left when there was a break in oncoming traffic, which also had a solid green.
That solid green has been replaced with a short-lived green arrow.
I’ve now got plenty of time to plan a week’s worth of shopping while sitting at a red light waiting for a green light.
At certain times of the day, there’s little or no oncoming traffic. It seems senseless to sit and wait for a green when there is no oncoming traffic.
More often than not, I now forgo the wait and travel around the Green — even if it takes me a bit longer to get to my destination. Why sit and wait needlessly when I can keep moving going the other way?
Safety concerns regarding the red blinking light that was removed for motorists exiting West Street onto Bridge Street have also been shared on several New Milford social media pages in recent weeks.
It’s extremely dangerous for motorists to try and turn left onto Bridge Street — even though there’s a sign to remind motorists traveling eastbound not to block the intersection.
Then there’s a problem with the light at Main and Bridge streets.
What can be said of this light, the light that, during high traffic times, allows for a very limited number of cars to turn right from Main onto Bridge Street?
When the traffic flow heading west on Bridge Street is solid, it gets backed up so much so, it doesn’t allow for more than two cars — three at the very most, and usually the third isn’t able to fit straight behind the line of traffic — to turn right from Main onto Bridge.
I recently sat through three green lights before I was able to make my right onto Bridge Street. This is absurd.
Clearly, the lights are not in sync.
The congestion at Grove Street/Route 67 and East Street was supposed to have been improved by the reconfigured intersection, but traffic continues to get backed up, even more so since the lights were adjusted on Bridge Street.
At times, motorists wanting to make a left from Bridge Street onto East Street who have a green arrow cannot always make the turn because traffic is backed up on East Street, or can make the turn but can’t properly fit in the line of traffic because it’s not moving.
(A resident on social media suggested prohibiting cars heading north on East Street from making a left onto Church Street, which does cause delays.)
Add to this the fact motorists turning left from Grove or right from East streets onto Bridge get stuck because traffic is slow moving due to the Bridge Street lights.
Traffic woes have always been an issue in the center of town, and there have been plenty of discussions about how to alleviate congestion.
That’s still to be discussed, but for the time being, the latest changes made to the traffic light signals need to be addressed.
The traffic flow — or lack thereof — during peak times, is simply absurd. More than two or three cars should be able to make it through a green light.