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As Town Ponders Traffic Fix, Monroe Speaks [VIDEO]

The DOT is proposing a roundabout to improve the safety of the intersection of routes 110 and 111.

First Selectman Steve Vavrek and State Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) describe the problems at the intersection of routes 110 and 111 and the Connecticut Department of Transporation's proposal for a roundabout.

Two people from the community weigh in on the issue.

Schap March 07, 2012 at 06:07 PM
At the presentation from the state traffic department they said there had been 26 accidents over a three year period.,only 3 resulted in injuries thank god. Most of the accidents were from cars turning left onto rt 110 from 111. The intersection does not warrant a traffic signal since it was determined by adding a light the # of accidents would increase and probably more severe do to the rate of speed traveling along 111. Their suggestion was a round about which would be safer and would be funded by federal $'s. These are some of the facts i took away from the presentation, when leaving early to listen to the BOF budget review. The price tag is high $2.7m in my estimation even if it is federal $'s. I would rather see federal $'s for Sewer's in our Town so possibly we could attract the developers that ask if we have sewers are told no and move on to another location.
Thesaurus March 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I don't believe this was a FS proposal but rather one from the state. If you do not want it then don't take it.
Christine E. March 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Yeah, wasn't this proposed by the Department of Transportation?
Jen Buzi March 07, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Whistleblower, Vavrek did not propose this
Sue_W March 07, 2012 at 09:23 PM
This proposal had NOTHING to do with Steve Vavrek. The DOT received a request to study this intersection and its impact on traffic. I do not remember who the request came from, but it was NOT from town government. Also, it is NOT a done deal ... it was merely a presentation illustrating the changes that could be made in the future.
Whistleblower March 07, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Vavrek clearly supports spending 2.7 million of our state tax dollars to build this traffic circle. While the state DOT provided various options, Vavrek clearly favors the traffic circle over all other scenarios. Did he propose it? Not to my knowledge but he clearly supports what is in my opinion and what is in the opinion of others a very bad idea. If anyone is still unclear about this, just watch the video where he makes a number of uniformed comments in the support of building this traffic circle. I especially enjoy the part where a truck is trying to turn south on to RT 111 and Vavrek makes the comment that had there been a traffic circle the truck would be on its way. Wrong Mr. Vavrek the truck would have to wait for the traffic already in the circle and additional vehicular traffic would have to wait for the truck. This is how Vavrek makes most of his decisions, unscientifically and without facts. It is no wonder why Monroe is in such bad shape.
Whistleblower March 07, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Vavrek has got it wrong again; He is determined to turn our town into New Jersey. Traffic circles slow and create more traffic and thus more pollution. This intersection is not so bad and in fact there are many more in town that are much worse, so why take this on now? The probable answer is because Vavrek and company would like to eventually build more commercial buildings and strip malls all the way up to the 111/110 intersection. The idea here is everything south of this intersection will become NJ, then you drive around the nice little NJ style traffic circle before entering our village green. Doesn’t that sound so special, especially when Debra Lee Hovey weaves the myth? The police station is a few thousand yards from there and so is EMS and also the Fire Dept. Do we want to slow them down too? Imagine Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles trying to enter and exit this cluster at the same time with other traffic. Vavrek already has the whole town running around in circles we don’t need another one. This is only more bad planning.
Christine E. March 07, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Whistleblower, No, you're just trying to make Steve Vavrek a scapegoat because that is the popular thing to do on Patch. There's no basis for it. While there may be things TO blame him for, this is not one of them. Regardless of what Steve Vavrek says, i'm sure the State will still end up spending your money on some kind of solution.
Nondo S 80 March 07, 2012 at 11:21 PM
The Rt 25 / Pepper St intersection is not complete. The October storm delayed completion and now the State is waitng for Spring to arrive before completing the work. At traffic light will be installed.
Robert Martin March 07, 2012 at 11:29 PM
For years the plan was to have a four way intersection at 111 and 110 and the road would continue down what is now Lord Lane and connect with Church Street. The idea was to square off the intersection, put in a light and by doing this take a lot of the traffic off the town green. Planning and Zoning also drew a line and said commercial and business would move no further up 111 and turned down numerous proposals to do so. I would hope any ideas for the intersection of 110 and 111 would look at this idea to remove congestion around town hall and the Monroe Green.
Whistleblower March 07, 2012 at 11:40 PM
On the contrary, Vavrek and Hovey are our ranking elected officials here in Monroe and are ultimately responsible regarding this matter, or at least they should be. I simply stated facts along with some opinion, it is what it is. I am not scapegoating Vavrek as you contend. I am just holding him accountable; you however are obviously on patch to defend him. I have yet to here you comment on the merits of this proposed project. Have you nothing objective to say or is your purpose only to criticize those who find fault with your leader?
Christine E. March 07, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Whistleblower, If you haven't seen me comment, then you obviously haven't read any of the other articles or comments pertaining to the same topic. I am not on patch 'to defend him', I simply think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
PlumbBob March 07, 2012 at 11:51 PM
As Whistleblower has stated, a traffic circle will NOT allow people to get through any quicker, and therefore will not save gas or time getting traffic through it as was presented to us. Think about it, there will be the same amount of vehicles entering the area from either direction even if a circle was in place. Drivers will need to wait for oncoming traffic to present a clear lane for entry whether they are at a stop sign or waiting to enter a traffic circle. You don't simply continue on without yielding to oncoming traffic. A circle could perhaps eliminate some of the difficulty viewing oncoming traffic but it can also cause similar problems when people erroneously pull out into oncoming traffic entering the circle. If this intersection is really that much of a concern then make the roads loin at 90 degrees and put up a light. Problem solved and almost 2 million saved.
monroe taxpayer March 07, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I would simply put up lights and lanes as fast as we can. Lights work everywhere else? It should have been done years and years ago. Also place a light and turn lanes at the green where fan hill and 111 meet. There also have been several accidents over the years at the intersection of hammertown, east village,old zoar and 111. Put lights there while we are at it. Are we waiting for something tragic to happen?
Whistleblower March 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Actually it’s a NJ style traffic circle not a molehill and still you have not stated anything objective. Thank you for making my point for me, but I would still rather have you share with patch readers what you think about this project.
Christine E. March 08, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Whistleblower, I have already stated my position on this subject in the original article about the intersection in question. If you should so desire to read my opinion from my previous posts, then you can very easily do that on your own by clicking on the article and scrolling downward. It isn't rocket science.
Thesaurus March 08, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Just vote NO.
P. Vincent March 08, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Another example of leadership being out of touch. Take the island away and put up lights and turning lanes. This will stop the speeding issue, improve the saftey issue, (which both are not big issues to start with) and it will cost less money. As for the traffic that might build up in front of the fire house, you can have the light on 110 turn green when there is an alarm and have the lights on 111 turn red. This will clear the traffic for the fire fighters that a "round about" wont do. The "round about" is not what they make it out to be. I have driven through them many times and it is confusing for some drivers compared to stop signs and traffic lights. Add confusion to some drivers and you will have more traffic and more accidents no doubt. Do we need to countinue to make Monroe look more like a city instead of a town? Just look at rt. 25 and what Stepney looks like and this is after "they" told us after they are done with the "road improvements" the traffic would improve 10 fold....If thats improvement you can have it!!! Just another example of some politicians trying to leave their mark on the world before they are voted out of office.....
live here March 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I happen to think the Stepney improvements will be better for that intersection, even though we lost some trees on the green. It's never going to be ideal on Rte. 25 as the population of the overall area changes. The State is supposed to put some back. What does politics have to do with what the State does with their right-of-ways and intersections? Are you kidding?
live here March 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Monroe has changed considerably from those years. We need to look forward to what will work for the Town. Protect the Monroe green, yes! Not plan for more traffic in this area, poor ideology.
live here March 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Where is this "plan" you speak of? Who was supposed to carry it forward? Obviously nothing went forward although business was turned away from the tax base.
Al March 08, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The traffic on Route 111 at Route 110 is to heavy for a roundabout. Vehicles heading north on Rte 111 in the winter would have a problem. The grade of the roadway will cause cars getting stuck on Ice or Snow when stopping or slowing down entering the roundabout. If the volume wasn't heavy it would be a good idea. At this location no way. As for the State DOT. Think twice about.
jim laguardia March 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
the traffic getting stuck on the hill having to slow down in snow is great point !!
Lina Buzzelli and Anna Dora March 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
That's what its called, roundabout......not a 'circle thing"; I love MONROE PATCH!!
kay inderdohnen March 09, 2012 at 01:43 AM
With regard to traffic having to slow down on the Route 111 hill, that would happen whether there's a roundabout or a traffic light, regardless of the weather.. Both would create unsafe conditions. What comes to my mind whenever there is tampering with our local roads, particularly Routes 25 and 111, is the desire on the part of traffic "experts" or people in control to make these roads four lanes. Apparently they won't be satisfied until there are two high-speed roads through our town, one road going right through the Historic District. It is only because Monroe's residents strongly protested many years ago that Route 111 isn't four lanes today. The State wanted it then, and Monroe said NO. Texting here is interesting, but we really should let our Town officials know how we feel.
Al March 09, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Kay, I agree with your article.
Thesaurus March 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
@Inderdohen, we already enjoy 2 high-speed roads in Monroe. No attention is ever paid to speed - it is like the Indy 500.
Sue_W March 09, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Here is a great site for further information regarding modern roundabouts: http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/roundabouts.html To Whistleblower: Obviously you were not at the presentation. First of all, what was presented was the installation of a 'modern roundabout' and not a 'traffic circle'. There is a difference, as defined in the above referenced website. Secondly, other than welcome everyone to the presentation and introduce the guest speaker, Steve Vavrek sat quietly off to the side during the entire presentation and question & answer period. Did he approach people after the meeting? Yes, he did, simply to ask, "What did you think?" He thanked people for their opinions, thanked them for coming, and that was that. No pushy agenda. I, for one, went into the presentation thinking that a traffic light was the only solution for this intersection. After the presentation, I changed my thinking, as did several others. This is NOT a done deal, and nothing may ever come of it. If anything were to come of it, it would be 2015 before we see any construction begin.
Life By The Green March 09, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Blowing that whistle all the time must have caused some oxygen depravation.
PlumbBob March 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Sue W that is a very informative link, thank you for posting it. Lots of good info there. One concern I immediately had, that was not mentioned, is that fact that if a collision were to take place it would almost always be involving the drivers side of the entering vehicle which would be traveling at a slower rate than oncoming traffic. By its basic design a traffic circle, roundabout, whatever you call it, will place an inherent risk of impact to drivers entering the circle on the left side of their vehicle. I do realize the impact may be reduced because of the slower speeds, but I don"t like the fact the drivers door is always exposed. I wonder if there are any studies that compare the ratio of injuries per collision versus conventional intersections. I don't care what their safety studies show or how they report it, the entering vehicle has the drivers side always exposed to oncoming traffic. That is not a position I would prefer to put myself or children in if I had a choice or say in the matter. I am sure roundabouts are safer in the UK where people drive on the right side of the vehicle, away from oncoming traffic.

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