Police commission votes against new crosswalks
Updated 9:30 pm, Friday, November 11, 2016
DARIEN — The Darien Police Commission voted against installing fully protected crosswalks in downtown Darien.
In looking to install new signals at the intersections of Post Road and Center Street, Post and Tokeneke roads and Post Road and West Avenue, town hall requested the police department consider full-protection crosswalks be installed. Fully protected crosswalks would cause all lights at the intersection to go red if the crosswalk button were pressed.
The crosswalk system downtown allows for concurrent crossing, which means the walk signal appears when traffic is already stopped, and traffic turning left or right must yield to pedestrians. A report from the Department of Transportation supported keeping this system.
According to police Capt. Don Anderson, to allow fully protected crosswalks downtown, all three intersection lights would have to turn red if the button at one intersection was pushed. The commission agreed at its meeting on Nov. 2 the system could potentially cause major traffic delays.
“If we have multiple pushes at the button at CVS, we could see traffic to the turnpike bridge,” Anderson said. “Is this safer for pedestrians? Yes, but if drivers get so wound up cause they can’t get anywhere, are they going to make movements that are less than safe?”
The commission agreed with Anderson’s point and unanimously voted against fully protected crosswalks, citing they were not in the best interest of Darien.