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Raised Crosswalks Considered For Fairfield Hills

Published: April 13, 2019 at 07:45 am

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In response to an anticipated increase in pedestrian traffic at Fairfield Hills stemming from new facilities that will be opening there, the Police Commission is considering the installation of “raised crosswalks” there as a pedestrian safety measure.

Police Commission members, in their role as the local Traffic Authority, discussed the matter at an April 2 session.

Police recently conducted a traffic study at the Fairfield Hills core campus in response to complaints about traffic problems, including speeding. The study is an adjunct to a similar traffic study published in 2012.

The Police Commission is considering the installation of a composite device known as a raised crosswalk, where needed. A raised crosswalk combines the features of a crosswalk and a speed table. The device provides a designated space to cross the street, known as a crosswalk, as well as a speed table, a mounded pavement feature which is intended to slow traffic. State law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians standing in crosswalks.

Locally, there are five speed tables on Queen Street and four speed tables on Key Rock Road. Those speed tables, however, are not marked as crosswalks.

Police Chief James Viadero suggested to Police Commission members that raised crosswalks might be an effective pedestrian safety feature at two Fairfield Hills locations — on the driveway directly in front of the main entrance to NYA Sports and Fitness and also on Simpson Street between the Newtown Municipal Center and the planned Newtown Community Center/Senior Center.

The presence of the community center is expected to increase pedestrian traffic at Fairfield Hills. Also, the former Stratford Hall there is being converted into a brewpub by Asylum Brewing Company. That facility is also expected to increase foot traffic in the area.

Police Commission Chairman Joel Faxon agreed that good locations for raised crosswalks would be at NYA and between the municipal center and community center.

Commission member Andrew Sachs suggested installing such a device near the planned brewpub. “We’re just trying to get out in front of it,” Mr Sachs said of the anticipated increase in foot traffic at Fairfield Hills.

Police Captain Christopher Vanghele said that Primrose Street in front of NYA is a “tough area,” when considering the large number of NYA users who are picked up there by motorists.

“We know that’s going to be a busy, busy place when all is said and done,” Chief Viadero said of the expected increase in foot traffic at Fairfield Hills in view of the new facilities that will be opening.

The traffic study written by Patrol Officer Benjamin Mulhall contains information on raised crosswalks as it applies to Fairfield Hills. The study recommends that raised crosswalks be installed on Simpson Street to link the municipal center to the planned community center and also be installed on D.G. Beers Boulevard to link the municipal center to the northern road shoulder of that street, where there are perpendicular parking spaces. The report recommends that a crosswalk in front of NYA be repainted to make it more visible.

 

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