Wilton reviews guard rails — some will come down
While the Board of Selectmen will take up the matter of guardrails at its next meeting on Monday, Sept. 23, there has already been a decision that recently installed guardrails placed along Wild Duck Road and Woods End Drive will be removed.
A moratorium on the installation of new metal guardrails has been in effect over the summer after First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice received several complaints from residents. They have also been outspoken at a July Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on the Plan of Conservation and Development and at the Aug. 12 meeting of the selectmen. The residents have been critical of the appearance of the metal guardrails, particularly on Wild Duck and Woods End.
A statement released by Vanderslice’s office on Sept. 18 indicates the town’s placement standards are incomplete and don’t take into account “the many roadway and roadside characteristic scenarios.” When state standards are applied, speed limits, roadside heights and other factors are taken into account.
Those standards allow the removal of the guardrails on Wild Duck and Woods End, but town officials do not know if other guardrails can be removed as well. Going forward, an existing guardrail will not be used as evidence that a guardrail is needed at all, the statement said.
The town hired Streetscan to review the condition of town-owned roads to assist in paving priorities, but the company also captured data about guardrails, Vanderslice’s office said.
“We intend to contract with Streetscan to translate that data into inventory and mapping, similar to what was provided for the roads. This will provide the [DPW] department with the necessary database to begin evaluating guiderails,” a statement said.
At the upcoming selectmen’s meeting, options for guardrail materials will be presented. A campaign to rally support for a rollback of the metal guardrails has been underway via email and social media. The campaign favors removing all metal guardrails and installing wooden guardrails where needed.
DPW and Facilities Director Chris Burney acknowledged residents’s concerns in bringing the matter forward. “This is exactly as it should happen,” he said. “Residents raise a concern, the town investigates and, where possible, makes improvements benefiting all residents.”