Submitted by David Wold, Greenwich
Dear Citizens of Greenwich,
I write to you in response to Greenwich Communities (formerly the Housing Authority) board chair, Sam Romeo, who in his letter published in Greenwich Free Press published on June 14 (ROMEO: Opposition to Intersection Improvements Shows Lack of Understanding of Senior Needs) describes himself as an advocate for Seniors, and thanks First Selectman Fred Camillo for “his” planned safety improvements to Greenwich Avenue.
Romeo brings up an interesting point, which maybe unknown to many, which is that a First Selectman can, after being made aware of of a safety issue, with a few calls fix things. After a death on Milbank of an elderly person in 2020 the Board of Selectmen approved safety improvements that featured a flashing beacon, but no bump out. Mr. Romeo has been around for decades and knows this.
That he was not aware of the elements causing these tragic deaths earlier, as Chairman of Greenwich Communities, is unfortunate. The issues given had been there for years.
That brings me to main point of Mr. Romeo’s letter, which is that he feels the proposed safety improvements on Greenwich Avenue will help prevent same thing from happening.
So why are we not putting bump outs on Milbank Avenue? Or, why not the other way around – put flashing beacons Greenwich Ave, at minimal cost, if that was all that was needed?
I just don’t get it, how are his seniors getting safely from The Mews, Agnes Morley and Town Hall Annex to Greenwich Avenue on narrow, but busy side streets, without bump outs?
As said the measures he seemingly is happy with on Milbank Avenue were done in days and without budget approval, why not look at same for Greenwich Avenue?
There are no guarantees that the constant changing plans for the intersection would be covered 100% by the “Grant” from Hartford or increase safety of seniors walking to places like restaurants or the Senior Center.
What we know is that if you are not able to walk to the Senior Center, and need to be dropped off, if the proposed improvements for the intersection of Havemeyer and Greenwich Ave go through, your driver will now need to enter Greenwich Avenue before turning onto Havemeyer Place increasing the traffic in the intersection where we are trying to reduce potential accidents between cars and pedestrians.
The latest plans have introduced an extra crosswalk for seniors from the Mews, only to accommodate 3 extra parking spaces on Arch Street, bringing it finally up to the 12 “new” spaces that have been promised as Parking improvement on Greenwich Avenue. It is so fresh that Sam Romeo might not even be aware of the change before writing the letter thanking Mr. Camillo and the DPW Engineering Division for their solution.
It requires crossing Bolling Place, a “2 lane road” before they can cross Arch Street, so ADDING to crosswalk traffic and exposure, if their walk is aiming for lower Greenwich Avenue.
So again, if Mr. Romeo is happy with the Milbank solution, why applaud an ever changing theory that costs 100 times more and will disrupt traffic on at least 5 streets in downtown Greenwich for years ?