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Weston Neighborhood Wants Police To Stop Speeders

WESTON, Conn. – For years, Weston resident Walter Shanley has watched cars speed by his Old Mill Road home as he stood with his children waiting for the school bus. But a single car accident last week was the last straw, and now he plans to go before the Weston Police Commission Tuesday night to ask for help.

“Every day, starting at 5:26 in the morning, it’s like clockwork. Cars just floor it down our street and it doesn’t stop until after 8 [a.m.] or so,” Shanley said early Monday morning in his driveway. “Look, there goes another one,” he said as a white car sped past his house, clearly disobeying the 15 mph posted speed limit.

This has been an ongoing problem for Old Mill Road residents, who say the town needs to start stepping up enforcement in their neighborhood. The heavy flow of speeding traffic, Shanley says, is because his road is used as a cut-through for motorists looking to avoid the rush hour traffic on Newtown Turnpike. “They are all trying to avoid the center of town, so they come down our street. But the problem is that they are doing it at such a high rate of speed,” he said.

Shanley has put construction cones in front of his driveway to slow traffic down. He has even waved and shouted at speeding cars. “They don’t listen. I even had a few guys flip me the bird while they drive by,” he said.

Old Mill Road is partly in Weston and partly in Wilton. Shanley’s part, in Weston, is posted at 15 mph, while Wilton’s portion has speed bumps and is posted at 25 mph.

On Feb. 1, there was a car accident on Old Mill Road where the vehicle lost control and struck a tree. According to police, both the driver and passenger had to be extricated from the car. Shanley says the accident was caused by speed. The police said the incident is still under investigation and that road conditions were slick that day.

“We want the cops here and to start handing out tickets,” said Shanley, who will give the Police Commission a petition from 20 residents on his street asking the department for help. According to the petition, residents are urging “members of the Weston Police Commission to conduct a comprehensive traffic study” on the road that examines safety concerns, traffic volume, traffic speed and overall conditions of the roadway.

Weston Police Chief John Troxell said the department is aware of Old Mill Road residents' concerns but added that the department can do only so much with its limited manpower. Troxell said there are only two to three officers covering the entire town at any given time. “We have limited resources and limited manpower and we do what we can to respond to all the needs of the town,” he said.

But Troxell did say the department will “be making more of a presence in the very near future.”

The department considers residents like Shanley “the eyes and ears” of the community, Troxell said. “We absolutely want residents to tell us their concerns. We can’t be everywhere at once. If there is a problem, notify us and we will try to respond as best as we can,” the chief said. But traffic enforcement can be an issue for police because of  “several encroachment site issues and vegetation” impeding the narrow roadway, Troxell said.

Old Mill Road is very narrow, leaving patrol officers little room to pull vehicles over unless they block one lane. “We will do the best we can, but this might have to be handled by other departments in town.”

The Police Commission is expected to discuss Shanley’s complaints Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 56 Norfield Road.

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