Thursday, March 04, 2021

Letters

Increasingly Watchful

On Dec. 1, South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) initiated a Route 146 Corridor Study to recommend how to “improve traffic operations, safety, and address locations with frequent flooding and future sea level rise.”

I write as a property owner on Leetes Island Road, also known as the Route 146 Historic District in Guilford, where my office and shop have been located since 1987. This beautiful old road has the good fortune to pass close by the waters of Long Island Sound, and to have been bypassed by both Route 1 and I-95 some time ago. It is stopped in time. For that we are grateful, but increasingly watchful.

Four years ago, our community organized to turn away overtures by the Shoreline Greenway Trail, which would have pressed hard against homeowners’ front yards and materially changed the character of the road. SCRCOG’s study once again puts the future of our road before the public.

But this time there’s a welcome difference: Under Stephen Dudley’s direction, this is a public forum with another agenda (see scrcog.org/route-146-corridor-study).

We are all invited to share ideas for improving traffic flow and safety for all who use our roads while preserving the integrity of our historic districts.

My suggestions are simple: Manicure the edge of the road, including cutting back foliage at the edge of the road and trimming twice a year and clearing dirt back to the edge of the macadam, narrow car lanes from existing 11 feet to 10 feet, widen uphill bike lanes, and reduce and enforce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour, particularly on the straightaways.

Note that none of the above includes widening, straightening, speed-bumping, extra signage, new guardrails, or otherwise altering the character of our streets.

Louis Mackall
Guilford