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Flagpole Traffic Study Being Considered



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The Police Commission is considering hiring a traffic engineering firm to analyze how the Main Street flagpole intersection could be improved to reduce traffic accidents at the busy five-way junction.

A recent police study indicated that the flagpole intersection of Main Street, Church Hill Road, and West Street has the second-highest traffic accident rate in town. A 100-foot-tall flagpole without any protective barriers stands in the center of that intersection.

At a June 2 Police Commission session, Police Chief Michael Kehoe suggested that the commission enlist a traffic engineering firm such as Fredrick P. Clark Associates, Inc of Fairfield for advice on how the intersection could be improved.

At that session, that firm had presented a traffic study on improving traffic safety on Key Rock Road. The commission had hired the company to perform that study.

Any changes at the flagpole intersection would be subject to state approval because Main Street and Church Hill Road are state roads. West Street is a town road.

Commission member Virgil Procaccini, Jr, said the commission needs expert advice from a traffic engineering firm to aid it in dealing with the traffic problems at the intersection.

Commission member Joel Faxon said that bringing in a traffic a consultant to aid the commission is a good idea because commission members themselves are not traffic engineers. The five-member Police Commission also serves as the local traffic authority.

Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico said he would contact Clark Associates about the prospects of performing a traffic study for the commission on the flagpole intersection.

Because the flagpole is a designated state landmark, any changes there would be subject to a historical protection review process.

Mr Mangiafico stressed the commission has no intention of altering the flagpole itself.

According to the recent police traffic study, the flagpole intersection was the place in town with the second-highest accident rate for the calendar years 2012 through 2014 inclusive. During that period, there were 55 collisions there.

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