Police will study Route 7 safety

Following calls of concerns from Wilton High School parents, First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice is asking the police to look into apparently hazardous traffic conditions on Route 7 at Catalpa Road that has led to two high school students being involved in car accidents over the past week.

Vanderslice announced her call  for police help at the Sept. 19 Board of Selectmen meeting at town hall.

On Sept. 20, Capt. John Lynch confirmed that Chief Robert Crosby had been speaking with Vanderslice on the issue, and that a new study of the road’s safety is in the works.

Basically, it is an issue that has boiled for years. Police raised the issue in the past with the state, which controls Route 7 as a state road, and successfully got flashing lights installed. The speed limit is 40 m.p.h., and lower when the lights are flashing.

That hasn’t seemed to help in all cases though, as the students in the past week got involved in accidents there after leaving local businesses like a coffee shop.

Lynch said he would get full information on the first accident, which reportedly occurred on Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. during peak traffic at school pickup time, and the second, Sept. 19 at 7:48 a.m.

“Thankfully, there were no serious injuries,” Vanderslice said at the meeting.

Lynch said the study will include speed limits and traffic controls available on that part of the road. Traffic data will also be analyzed.

The study should take no more than a couple of months, he said.

Last year, the state Department of Transportation modified the intersection of Route 7 and School Road, just south of the Catalpa Road intersection, due to numerous accidents that have occurred there.