The Greens Farms Railroad Station is congested with both school buses and commuters’ vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot. The buses, temporarily parked at the depot until a permanent lot is found, travel via New Creek Road to Greens Farms Road, making a tight turn up an incline at the intersection. It will become a three-stop intersection as long as buses are parked at the station. / Photos by Gretchen Webster

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — Safety upgrades are planned for four dangerous intersections after the Board of Selectwomen on Wednesday approved installing stop and no-parking signs, plus other safeguards. 

The steps are being taken in response to complaints by residents and recommendations from the town’s Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Task Force.

Each of the projects, presented to the selectwomen by police Cpl. Al D’Amura, was approved unanimously by the board.

Cars often park on both sides of Rayfield Road, near the intersection with Post Road East adjacent to Volvo of Westport, according to complaints, making the street narrower and dangerous. “No Parking” signs will be installed on the east side of the street .

“I want to remind the public that we have a task force that is working really hard on these issues,” First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker said. The group examines and reports “on the many, many requests and concerns the public has made to us — and this is evidence of that,” she said of the four intersections discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.

D’Amura agreed. “Right now, we’re dealing with close to 400 requests,” he said.

The approved upgrades, described by D’Amura, are:

Install “No Parking” signs on east side of Rayfield Road, from Post Road East to Spicer Road:

Cars, trucks and delivery vehicles park on both sides of the road adjacent to the Volvo of Westport dealership, making travel lanes very narrow, according to D’Amura. There have been numerous complaints that cars are backing up, forcing vehicles into oncoming traffic. “We don’t want to hinder the business, but we want to help the residents in the area,” he said, by limiting parking to one side. 

Install “No Parking” signs on both sides of Church Street South, from Post Road East to intersection at rear driveway of 785 Post Road East:

The task force has received numerous complaints that delivery trucks, Uber drivers and others park on both sides of the street, “causing sight-line problems” and narrowing the street, D’Amura said. “This problem keeps on occurring.”

Replace “Yield” sign at intersection of Thomas Road and Imperial Avenue with a “Stop” sign:

There have been numerous complaints from residents and the town engineer about the intersection, D’Amura said, who added that replacing the yield sign with a stop sign would make it safer. “People tend to slide or glide into that area” because of the posted yield sign, he said, instead of stopping. 

“A stop sign would control it better.” The intersection also may be converted to a “T” intersection in the future, he said.

Install “Stop” signs temporarily on eastbound and westbound lanes of Greens Farms Road, at intersection with New Creek Road:

This change has been requested by the Board of Education and First Student bus company, the school district’s bus contractor.

More than 30 buses are currently being parked at the Greens Farms Railroad Station and travel down New Creek Road to Greens Farms Road. “We realize that these school buses are having an extremely difficult time getting in and out” of the intersection, D’Amura said. 

The problem is exacerbated by the amount of traffic in the area, including commuters as well as buses, he said.

The stop signs will be installed temporarily and will be re-evaluated at the end of the school year or when school buses are no longer parked at the rail depot.

Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism teacher for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for 10 years and teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.