New traffic pattern to be enforced at Fairfield RR Station
Published 6:29 pm, Thursday, November 4, 2010
After complaints about traffic knots and near-collisions at the Fairfield Railroad Station during peak morning commuter hours, police officials have decided to make a change in the traffic flow on the depot's New York-bound side.
The changes will take effect at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, and remain in force until 9 a.m. The new traffic rules will apply to that period on weekdays thereafter.
Fairfield police Lt. James Perez said all but one lane in the train station parking lot will be blocked off and a drop-off zone will be created in front of the passenger platform to ease congestion and the potential for accidents during the busy morning commuter hours. The 255-foot lane from Unquowa Road, the farthest from the entrance, will be the only one open.
Perez said he and Police Chief Gary MacNamara monitored the morning traffic at the train station and determined there is a problem.
"There have been tons of complaints from our special agents. Cars are literally stopping anywhere, in the middle of the aisle, all over the place," Perez said. "There is gridlock, confusion and frustration."
He said the new traffic pattern is a short-term fix and that long-range changes could include painted directional arrows on the parking lot surface, additional sign and re-routing traffic patterns throughout the parking lot.
Commuters, Perez said, "fear missing their trains. It is important so that they can get to work."
But right now, he said, the Police Department's special agents directing traffic at the station are getting "lambasted unnecessarily," with complaints from distraught commuters trying to navigate through the busy lot during the morning rush.
Perez met with the Fairfield Parking Authority last month to develop the changes.
He said there will be signs in place at the parking lot and patrol officers directing traffic on Nov. 15 and a few days afterward to help enforce the new traffic patterns as commuter adjust.
Perez said he also plans to talk to the Board of Education to inform parents who drop off students at Tomlinson Middle School, across Unquowa Road from the train station. Perez warned parents that there could be traffic tieups on the street because of the rail station changes.
"It is a big issue and inconvenience right now," Perez said of the problem that the new traffic pattern is designed to address.