Data Tie-up Slows Traffic Study


As of two years ago. accidents at the intersection of Routes 68 and 150 were trending down, though more recent data is unavailable.

James Bubaris, of Bubaris Traffic Associates, told the Planning and Zoning Commission at a recent meeting that he wants to get the latest accident information for his traffic study of 440 Main St., where the owners of a Danby's gas station are looking to add a retail store.

Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said the 2012 reports have been filed, but the data hasn't been entered into a database for public inspection. He said that could be done in a few months.

Nursick said there were 14 accidents at the intersection in 2009, six in 2010 and only three in 2011. He said all were minor. All three accidents in 2011 were rear-end collisions with no major injuries reported.

Mobil had applied for a retail store at the site in 1998, but was denied by the PZC. Bubaris was told by the PZC to tell it what has changed at the intersection since then and justify the introduction of a store to the site.

"Over past five years, there has been a lower volume of traffic on all four lanes of this intersection," said attorney Dennis Ceneviva, who is representing the owners of the Danby's at 440 Main St. Drivers heading south on Route 150 taking a left into the gas station have had difficulty, backing up traffic during peak hours, Ceneviva said.

"If something like Dunkin Donuts came here it'd be problematic," he said.

He talked with Town Planner Kacie Costello about requiring that the store have a Class 1 health permit, restricting the items that can be sold, with the exception of coffee.

Bubaris proposed restricting the driveways out of the gas station to right turn only. While studying current traffic at the site last month, Bubaris said, he found that drivers usually adjust to heavy traffic and don't make dangerous turns in or out of the station.

Based on the number of gas pumps and current traffic patterns, Bubaris estimated that, in peak hours, 80 to 110 more people would come to the gas station if a retail operation were to be added. He admitted, though, that the estimate is on the high side.

The DOT has approved plans to add a lane to Route 68 westbound, giving it a left lane, a through lane and a throughright lane onto Route 150. Bubaris said the work will probably be completed in three or four years.

Commission member William Birney Jr. requested that a peer review be done on all traffic studies of the area. Monday's public hearing was continued to the PZC's next meeting in August.

-Eric Heredia - Originally published in Record-Journal (Meriden, CT)

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