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Greenwich Shortcut To Become One Way

GREENWICH, Conn. – A bid to make New Lebanon Avenue in Byram a one-way road to cut down on traffic was unanimously endorsed by the Greenwich Board of Selectmen on Thursday.

The town’s traffic operations department has proposed a three-month trial in which New Lebanon Street, a common shortcut for drivers, would temporarily become a one-way southbound-only road. Several signs will be needed during the trial to alert drivers. The proposal still faces a vote by the Representative Town Meeting in April.

Byram is a downtown neighborhood where many people walk. The Byram Neighborhood Association had complained to the town about the traffic.

“We came across this issue with New Lebanon Avenue, where there is only a sidewalk on one side. And often cars are parked up on the sidewalk, Dumpsters are on the sidewalk, making it difficult to maneuver. And it makes it difficult for kids,” said Melissa Evans, Greenwich’s traffic operations coordinator.

Michael Bocchino, president of the neighborhood association, said it wanted to protect seniors and kids at the school, baseball field and the Byram Shubert Library.

“Due to the fact that the community is older, roadways are narrow. In order to create safer environment for the school children, [renovating] the sidewalk would create problems with parking,” said Bocchino.

The Greenwich Police Department found that cars were going faster where New Lebanon intersects with William Street, Sgt. John Slusarz said.

“We found many people were using William Street [northbound] to New Lebanon as a means to bypass the light on Mead Avenue and Delavan Avenue,” said Slusarz. “By making New Lebanon a one-way going south, it would reduce that, thereby those extra vehicles wouldn’t be speeding in that area.”

Automatic traffic recorders were put on William Street in June and found 85 percent of vehicles traveling east on the road were driving 37 mph. The posted speed limit is 25 mph.

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