NORWALK, Conn. – Two new stop signs will be installed on the busy Norwalk intersection of King and William Streets, an action taken Monday by the Traffic Authority.
Other topics included:
- A 6-month trial period for a new stop sign at a Rowayton intersection
- Fairfield Avenue truck traffic (as in, no action is needed)
- The possibility of two-hour meter parking on Elizabeth Street
- The possibility of taxi stands on the east side of the South Norwalk train station
A stop sign was authorized for the “very busy” intersection of King and William Streets but could not be installed because of a tree, Traffic Engineer Fred Eshragi said. Nevertheless, he recommended it be put in now, he said.
The conversation was initiated by citizen complaints, Department of Public Works Director Bruce Chimento said.
“I realize you’re not supposed to use stop signs to control speed on a road. In this case, because of this intersection, it’s already been recommended. We are going to look closely at putting a stop sign for that intersection,” Chimento said.
Much of the area is a school zone and is already posted at 20 miles an hour, Eshragi said.
“I had a site visit last week and we are going to upgrade a couple of signs,” he said.
This had been on the agenda as a discussion item; the Authority voted to add it as an action item, and voted unanimously to approve it.
Rowayton 4-way stop
The Authority unanimously approved a new stop sign for the intersection of Witch Lane, Tory Hill Lane and Old Trolley Way, without comment. Mayor Harry Rilling said it would be there for a six-month trial period.
This was discussed at length in December, when several citizens came to the Authority’s meeting to plead that the 3-way stop at the intersection become a 4-way stop.
“We have had some dramatic traffic issues,” said Witch Lane resident Rein Vosar, in December.
“I know we have done something in the past where we have put something up temporarily,” Rilling said. “Certainly, since we are coming into the winter snow season, it would be good idea to try that.”
A three-way stop at a four-way intersection leads to problems, Rilling and Yoesock said.
Golden Hill activists have long desired a ban on large trucks on Fairfield Avenue, but there’s no sign that it’s necessary, Chimento said.
“I don’t know what you would be restricting. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to put something up, but it’s not going to do anything,” Chimento said.
Traffic counters were installed on Fairfield Avenue near Garner Street and on Reed Street from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13, Eshragi said. The counters showed that 6 percent of the southbound traffic on Fairfield was motorcycles, 78.7 percent were cars and 8.7 percent were “2-axle long” vehicles. The numbers went down from there.
“Approximately 9 percent of traffic coming down Fairfield Avenue a delivery truck. The counts of anything over that are so small that you don’t even consider it,” Chimento said.
The plan to build a mall on West Avenue is an issue, Eshragi said.
“It would be good to just wait for that proposal and we may be able to do something at that point,” Eshragi said.
A proposal to put in parking meters on Elizabeth Street was tabled after the DPW crew told Rilling that there had been no notices sent to residents.
Eshragi said no one was removing parking, it’s just that it would be charged for.
Rilling said it wasn’t fair to the neighbors not to inform them and the Authority voted unanimously to wait another month.
Rilling pushes for taxi stands
“I am mainly interested in making it as convenient for the commuters as possible,” Rilling said, asking Administrative Services Manager Kathryn Hebert why taxis could not park at the end of the parking lot on the eastbound side.
Buses use that space, particularly in the morning, Hebert said.
“It’s a very small footprint on the eastbound side,” she said.
There is room for eight taxis on the westbound side, and there are signs directing people over there, she said. The cabbies are queuing up in a very orderly fashion now, she said.
Rilling asked that a meeting be set up in early February with the taxi drivers and owners to see if they have any ideas.
“I know the difficulties and I know that parking is at a premium,” Rilling said. “I’ve gotten letters from people saying there’s no parking in the garage down there, so the garage is filled. I am just trying to accommodate the people coming into Norwalk. They may be coming in for the day to go to the Maritime Aquarium, to go someplace and needing a taxi and not knowing where to get one, or having to walk through the tunnel.”