Letter: Oppose Whitney Avenue ramps

I read in the Trumbull Times where three state representatives serving various sections of Trumbull are calling for the addition of entrance ramps connecting Whitney Avenue to Route 25.

The three legislators said it’s long overdue. They said it will relieve congestion on Daniels Farm Road and provide access to both the Long Hill Green area and Indian Ledge Park.

But these three legislators, David Rutigliano, (R-123rd), Laura Devlin (R-134th) and Ben McGorty (R-122nd), have it wrong.

What adding ramps on Whitney Avenue will do is destroy Whitney Avenue as a residential road. It will endanger hikers and bicyclists at the nearby rails-to-trails crossing.

And it won’t really change the congestion problem on Daniels Farm Road, which is mostly driven by the schools and by in-town development patterns.

The Trumbull Times story said that since the Route 25 highway was built in 1982, there has been a lot of development in the eastern part of town, particularly on Daniels Farm Road. But that’s not true. With just a few exceptions, notably the Bridal Trail development, all the residential subdivisions in the Daniels Farm corridor were completed by the mid 1980s. Three of the schools—Hillcrest, Trumbull High and Daniels Farm School—were there before the highway was built. A fourth, the Vo-Ag facility, was added later, but it draws its student population from the high school, thus not adding traffic.

It’s true that vehicles from Monroe come down Moose Hill and Daniels Farm to get to the Daniels Farm highway ramp near Trumbull Center, and it’s true they’re a source of congestion. They’d be diverted to the highway farther north on Daniels Farm via Whitney if ramps were added.

But Monroe traffic isn’t the main source of congestion, and adding ramps to mitigate that traffic would be too high a price for residents of Whitney Avenue, the town’s only northern thoroughfare across the Pequonnock Valley. And it would create new traffic problems. Whitney, where it intersects with Porter’s Hill Road, has one of the most dangerous curves in town. And as mentioned, adding traffic on Whitney would endanger pedestrians on the already dangerous Valley Trail crossing.

It’s interesting that both Rep. Devlin and Rep. McGorty use the term “downtown” to describe Trumbull Center or Long Hill Green. It is unclear which section they’re referring to, but the truth is neither is “Downtown Trumbull.” Trumbull has no real downtown, and the fact that they used the term underscores that they’re both out-of-towners who don’t really understand Daniels Farm Road and Whitney Avenue.

My message to our legislators is this: If you really want to ease congestion on Daniels Farm Road, opposed the massive and environmentally disruptive condo complex on a pristine 10-acre site on Lower Daniels Farm that’s currently being pushed through Planning and Zoning.