Monday, November 23, 2009

W. Elm & Forest - Neighbors chat w/ TT&P Director

Several neighbors met near the "T" intersection of W. Elm St. & Forest Rd. tonight to take a look and chat with Mike Piscitelli, Director of New Haven's Transportation, Traffic & Parking Department. He also brought a rough drawing based on an on-site meeting he had with a CT DOT engineer last week. Residents of this block of W. Elm, and many Westville neighbors, know of the many accidents (including the 2008 death of a Forest Rd. neighbor) and the hazards of this particular intersection.

The City will soon get back to the neighbors with a proposal of what TT&P can do (with cooperation/permission from CT DOT) to mitigate the dangers at this intersection. The State did study and provided a recommendation (6/09) against installing a traffic light or stop signs (email me if you want a copy). Also, CT DOT advised that perhaps making the street one-way from Forest could help. This "one-way option" has largely been dismissed after the City formally surveyed the W. Elm St. neighbors. However, nothing is completely off the table as far as remedies go. Director Piscitelli will now consult further with the City's engineers (get CT DOT input and permissions if necessary) to get a plan that can be assessed by the New Haven Traffic Authority and the neighbors.

Neighbors attending tonight seemed to agree that striping and/or an island to direct flow to a Right-Turn Only from W. Elm to Forest would be a welcomed first step. Signage for No Left Turn onto Forest would also accompany this design. Further addressing the many hazards at this intersection, also led to considering blocking all incoming traffic from Forest onto W. Elm. This two-part idea will also be compared to completely blocking off access, to and from, Forest Rd.; thus making W. Elm a cul-de-sac at Forest.

TT&P will be in touch with Ina and me when they have something more to share.