‘Three Bucket’ plan addresses traffic, pedestrian concerns


Photo by Gabriella Gerig ’23

One item under the “yellow bucket” is Post Road East at Hillspoint Road. The complaint was that people use the parking lot of Cumberland Farms as a cut through to avoid the light. This is dangerous for both pedestrians and customers.

The Town of Westport is addressing concerns regarding traffic and pedestrian safety issues using information from past meetings and organizing priorities according to the Traffic & Pedestrian Safety Report published on Jan. 30. 

Westport’s First Selectwoman Jennifer S. Tooker conducted nine meetings in the spring of 2022 to identify and discuss traffic issues in neighborhoods. Members from the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works Department and the Planning & Zoning Department were all present. 

“I am happy that so many residents attended these meetings to interact, gain knowledge and perspective and voice their concerns over a wide variety of traffic issues,” Tooker said according to westport ct.gov. “In the end, over 350 items were listed and included in the report. Relevant questions, issues and concerns that were raised at these meetings will be addressed on an ongoing basis.”  

In the end, over 350 items were listed and included in the report. Relevant questions, issues and concerns that were raised at these meetings will be addressed on an ongoing basis.

— First Selectwoman Jennifer S. Tooker

371 individual records were entered into a spreadsheet and classified into a specific category. For instance, 21% of the records were sorted into the “Intersections” category and 16% for the “Sidewalks” category. 

The data from the meetings has been organized into a “three bucket” plan. The first bucket (green) includes current ongoing projects, scheduled maintenance and those with little planning to complete. The second bucket (yellow) are projects that require more effort such as research, planning and permitting before construction and completion. The third bucket (red) is out of the town’s jurisdiction due to high expenses or other difficulties. These projects will not be pursued at this time. 

In addition, the town applied for a SS4A Action Plan Grant on Sept. 15, 2022 in order to create a comprehensive and strategic plan to make streets and roadways safer for all users. The money will be used towards expertise and consultants. 

Many Staples students support this effort and believe that there is a traffic and pedestrian issue in Westport. Kate Whitaker ’23 voiced her thoughts on the traffic at Staples High School.

“I notice a lot of problems when school is dismissed because there are a lot of kids walking to Wakeman and a lot of seniors trying to leave the school very fast,” Whitaker said. “There could be some problems in the future if they aren’t more careful when leaving school.” 

Whitaker agrees that action needs to be taken in order to protect the students.

“I think providing more traffic wardens like they do at the main entrance of the school would help control the traffic and allow kids to cross the street more easily,” Whitaker said.  

Olivia Stubbs ’23 is concerned with pedestrian’s safety on her daily drive to school. 

“There is this light when I am going to school everyday, but I always see pedestrians trying to cross it,” Stubbs said. “There is no light to cross, so they are walking while cars are trying to turn. This causes traffic blocks, and the pedestrians are not safe because someone could run into them.” 

The objective of this “three bucket” plan is to address all citizens’ concerns and make the roads safer for everyone, including students.