Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Take Traffic Lights Off Route 9 Now

 Below is a letter to the editor. The views expressed may or may not express those of the Insider Staff. Highway Routes 17 and 9. are a disaster, ranking number 1 as the most dangerous highways in the state. 
In a recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Connecticut & Illinois tied for  the worst roads in the nation. 
And at the top of Connecticuts list, Middletown scores number 1.

25+ year veteran Rep. Joe Serra (D), who lives in and represents Middletown, is head of the Highways and Transportation Committee.

 Serra also runs CASHO - aka Connecticut Association of Street & Highways Officials, Inc. a "non profit" that oversees the conditions on CT's roadways. Despite this, Middletown can boast that is has the No. 1 most deadly section of highway in the state!  According to  Department of Transportation records, while it has a somewhat scenic view of the river, the on ramp where Route 17 merges with Route 9 has been the site of more accidents than anywhere else in the state. (http://articles.courant.com/2011-11-17/news/hc-worst-roads-1118-20111117_1_ramp-middletown-resident-rear-end-crashes)
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You can travel from Maine to California on highways without ever encountering a red light, but you have to stop at the lights on Route 9 in Middletown. Twice a day during rush hour, the traffic backs up in both directions for miles. Cars stopped and idling contributing to the already worst air pollution area in the Northeast. Rear-ended accidents on the Route 17 entrance ramp every week.
A proper network of flyovers and ramps would cost millions, but the problem could be solved for a lot less: Simply take the traffic lights off Route 9 and close off the roads that bisect and cross the highway.
There are plenty of other existing merge and yield ramps to access or leave the highway. Remove the lights. Put in place some Jersey barriers and put up proper signage to route traffic on and off the highway.
Hartford does not have lights on I-91 because they have ramps. Route 9 in Middletown has ramps, too. Let's use them and stop the carnage.
Tom Salafia, Middletown

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