This intersection needs major work. Narrowing the travel lanes by reducing pedestrian crossing distances would be one of the most effective ways to permanently reduce speeds. The city could also consider raised intersections and roundabouts, as they have in other neighborhoods.
Chris Heitmann wrote:
Cars don’t look like that when crashing at 25mph, which is what the posted speed limit is here and throughout New Haven. On neighborhood streets like Central and Willard, it arguably should be slower, more like 20mph. While the NHPD has done an excellent job of stepping up traffic enforcement in the neighborhood, enforcement will only get us so far. Similarly with education: it’s needed, but will have a very limited impact (no pun intended). The third “E” - Engineering - is where the city can really improve safety here. As Pedro suggests, this intersection is an excellent candidate for a small roundabout (not as big as on West Park, for which there’s no room here). Other alternatives would be bumping out the sidewalk at all four corners, thus narrowing the street and reducing crossing distances, raised crosswalks, and/or pedestrian refuges/planted medians leading into the intersection. The city needs to really study what the BEST solution would be here, and to consult with neighbors throughout. My concern with the idea of another traffic light is that cars would arguably speed more in order to make the light. The solution needs to SLOW PEOPLE DOWN, which would make this safer for cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and the kids who cross and wait here for the school bus every morning.
Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt yesterday and that no pedestrians or cyclists without 3000 pounds of steel to product them were in the intersection when this happened. A big thank you to the NHFD for a job well done and to the Independent for bringing attention to this sadly ongoing yet preventable issue.
A few other residents wrote:
- I live a few houses down on Willard, and that intersection is horrible. You have to pull out almost into the middle of Central to see past the street parking, and people fly up and down Central. It’s the only big intersection in the area without a 4 way stop.
- I was almost involved in a serious accident in high school right at this intersection. A guy in a Camaro was flying down central, and I pulled out from willard not seeing him (since he was so far down the street) and he slammed his brakes hard and just missed me. While I was the “cause” of him stopping, it was the fact that he was going about 60 down central that would have caused the accident.
- Central is a nice long straight run through Westville and people use it as a speedway to cross over New Haven all the time since it links Rt 34 to Whalley. The minimal cost of stop signs at all of the unsignaled intersections would greatly reduce the speeds on this street.
- Thank God no one was killed last night. That is without question one of THE WORST intersections in New Haven. Speed on Central Ave combined with poor visibility from Willard is a recipe for casualties.