The Board of Selectmen and the finance board have approved a $35,000 supplemental appropriation for sightline improvements at the intersection of School Road and Lords Highway.
The intersection is a major source of travel during the school day because all Weston public schools are located on School Road. At a recent selectmen’s meeting, Town Engineer John Conte called the intersection “dangerous.”
Police Chief John Troxell said the intersection was “a constant hazard to public safety due to a lack of sightline while exiting School Road,” in a letter submitted to Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein.
The initial request for sightline improvements came from Weston resident Britta Lerner at a meeting of the Police Commission, the town’s traffic authority. Ms. Lerner expressed concerns about public safety at the intersection, and said it was difficult for drivers on School Road to see vehicles coming up from Lords Highway. She said the vehicles were often speeding.
The commission asked Chief Troxell and Mr. Conte to review conditions at the intersection and both agreed the sightlines needed improvement.
In his letter, Chief Troxell said there had been seven motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of School Road and Lords Highway from Jan. 1, 2008 to July 27, 2012. He said those accidents occurred during the school year and during the school day.
After approving the $35,000 supplemental appropriation, Ms. Weinstein said she applauded Chief Troxell and the Police Commission for make this intersection a priority. “I’m happy to support that request,” she said.
Ms. Weinstein also gave credit to the police and schools for the “Mile of Safety” traffic initiative, which she said has kept School Road safe. But because traffic travels quickly on Lords Highway, she said the situation was “a recipe for disaster.”
The plan calls for cutting an embankment along the side of the road to create a shoulder that will allow 350 more feet of sightline for vehicles stopped on School Road. Stones in an old stone wall will also be removed to create a shoulder. Ms. Weinstein said the stone wall is on town property.
Quickly after the appropriation was approved by the selectmen and finance board, Mr. Conte sent the job out to bid. David Tinker of Danbury was the low bidder and work has already started.
In order for the work to be completed before school starts, temporary staging has been set up at the town’s landfill for all the fill being removed, saving the contractor time and allowing the project to be done quickly.