If you've ever driven along Howe Avenue during rush hour, you know what a headache it can be. Which is why Shelton's Street Committee passed a new ordinance prohibiting the blocking of an intersection.
At the Board of Aldermen's regular meeting, held Feb. 9 in , the members nearly unanimously passed the motion. President John Anglace, Jr. said it represents a concerted effort by alderman Eric McPherson and the Street Committee to address the traffic congestion downtown.
"We need to put this into effect regardless of possible flaws," Anglace said. "But in order to make it work we need public support, not punitive action like signs and painted road markings." Such strategies are largely ineffective, he said.
As the ordinance stands right now, only downtown's main intersections will be affected by the "no block" rule, including Howe Avenue at Center, Bridge and White streets.
Nearly a year ago, Shelton Patch columnist Kaitlyn Carroll . "Poor traffic light timing and impatient drivers lead to daily tie-ups on Howe Avenue," she said in March 2011.
"With the problem ongoing for years, it is evident drivers are not going to cease blocking the intersection out of simple common sense," Caroll said. "As such, something more needs to be done to prevent an accident from occurring in the area."
Residents seemed to agree, then and now. "The lights definitely need to be timed differently," said Shelton resident Susan, who commented on Carroll's article. "I travel this road home from work daily and sometimes it takes 7-10 minutes to get from Center Street to the corner by the bank and - I've actually timed it!"
Mayor Mark A. Lauretti was the single Board member to vote against the ordinance last Thursday night. He said he was not in favor of it because he does not think it will do anything to solve traffic problems.
"They're [the traffic issues] are far more reachable than anything this ordinance will do. I want to be on record saying this is an effort in futility," Lauretti said.