Wilton selectmen mull which way to turn

WILTON – Instead of making Prince Street one-way from Maple to Tremont Streets, it would be better to simply prevent left turns onto Prince from Tremont. That would leave Prince Street two-way for the four residents who live there.

That was the general opinion of the five people who attended a Board of Selectmen’s hearing on the subject Monday.

The traffic problem is caused by parents dropping off and picking up children at Florence Rideout Elementary School. Traffic moves one-way around the school: Park Street, Livermore Street, Tremont Street and back to Park Street.

Tremont Street runs along the side of the school’s “old building.” School Principal Edmond Heffernan had asked the police for help with the problem, citing safety concerns.

The situation is further complicated by Tumbleweeds Child Care, which is on Prince Street.

With no left turn onto Prince Street, drivers would have go another block to Park Street before turning toward the downtown area.

Asked about limiting parking on Prince Street instead, Selectman Jerry Greene said, “There is already not enough parking on Tremont Street. People are waiting on Prince.”

People are parking on both sides of Prince Street, he said, leaving one lane for traffic.

Police Chief Brent Hautanen wasn’t supportive of making the ban on left turns only during peak hours.

“It is easier to enforce if it is all the time,” he said.

“I’m concerned about the safety of the kids. They are everywhere in the street. I’m trying to alleviate the problem.”

Resident Mark Whitehill noted, “Try it. If it doesn’t work, you can change it.”

Greene said the selectmen would consider the question further.”