Pedestrian safety plans on Hoyt Street may be too much for residents
Published 10:09 am, Thursday, June 20, 2013
As part of the Board of Selectmen's promise to increase pedestrian safety along Hoyt Street between Leeds Lane and Barringer Road, the installation of 17 new street lamps has been proposed, but for some residents, 17 could be too much.
Recently, flashing signs, which alert motorists that pedestrians walk along the road, were installed.
"I don't think that the signs fix anything, but I do like that the motorists are cognizant of pedestrians," said Holly Schulz, a Hoyt Street resident who has been outspoken about the lack of sidewalks around town, specifically on her street, during public comment at Monday's selectmen meeting.
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Schulz provided a marked-up copy of the proposed street lamps with fewer of them being installed, offering what she feels is a better alternative that would not provide too much lighting on the streets, which could disturb the residents whose homes are close to the road.
Richard Hoyt, who lives on the corner of Country Club Road and Hoyt Street, said the newly installed flashing signs were a "nice start," but also felt that one streetlight on every pole on the road may be too much. During the selectmen's discussion of the lighting project, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson responded to some of the public's suggestions, such as using LED lights to have more control over where the beam falls on the ground.
Stevenson said the Connecticut Light & Power Co. does not use LED lighting anywhere. The bulbs that will be used are 70-watt, high-pressure sodium fixtures. That is the lowest wattage available.
"The intention is that the bulb is up inside the fixture, and it is more directional onto the roadway so that there isn't any backwash onto the residential properties," Stevenson said.
During public comment when speaking about the potential excessiveness of lights on every pole, Schulz questioned if there was any other place in town that had as many streetlights. Stevenson responded during the selectmen's discussion that a similar situation existed on Middlesex Road, from the Stamford border to the intersection with Hoyt Street.
"The intention was so that the pathway would allow for lighting along the way," Stevenson said. "We didn't want to have gaps in lighting, and this plan that you see, while it may seem arbitrary, was a plan that was put together by CL&P and our internal public works engineering staff."
CL&P will pay for the fixtures, Stevenson said, and the town will pay for the added electricity costs.
"It's a fairly unremarkable amount of money," Stevenson said.
Stevenson said she would discuss Schulz's suggestions with those involved in the project.
"Short of sidewalks, which we know are not happening in this budget cycle, this is the promise that we made to the Darien commuters who walk to the Talmadge Hill train station in New Canaan, is that we would improve street lighting and that we would install pedestrian walking signs. So I am attempting to act on my promises."
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