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Westport Approves Funding For Downtown Traffic Study

Traffic patterns in downtown Westport and along Post Road East will be examined in a study.
Traffic patterns in downtown Westport and along Post Road East will be examined in a study. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. — Traffic patterns in downtown Westport and along Post Road East will be the focus of a $65,000 study that received approval from the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body.

Funding for the study was approved 26-1 Tuesday night. The traffic study, to be conducted by the Norwalk-based RBA Group, will be the first phase of a proposed downtown master plan for development and implementation, estimated to cost $204,000.

“[The study] will consist of a pedestrian count, a parking analysis and a modeling of those projects that are on the drawing board and how, with the development of those projects — for example, Bedford Square — the traffic, pedestrian and the parking are likely to change if those things go to fruition,” said Ken Bernhard, acting chairman of the Downtown 2020 Committee. “All of this is important as a base to start Phase 1 and hopefully, into a Phase 2 master plan.”

In March, the Downtown 2020 Committee — which was established last year by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff — issued a request for proposals from consulting firms to develop a master plan for the downtown area.

Of the seven firms that submitted proposals, three were selected to present their visions for downtown during a series of public meetings. Of those three, the committee voted in August to recommend RBA Group as the consultants for the preparation of the Master Plan.

“With their (RBA’s) assistance, we believe the future of Westport will not be left to sporadic uncoordinated and isolated development projects, but become the community we collectively want,” Bernhard said.

Work on the study will begin soon, Bernhard said, as the study will need to be completed before the holidays.

The Board of Finance, which last week approved the $65,000 for the traffic study, will vote on the remaining $139,000 requested for the master plan on Wednesday night.

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