Over the next few weeks, we're going to update you on the "progress" our mayor has made in terms of addressing the traffic concerns around this diner as well as how other people took matters into their own hands Originally posted: May 24 2007).
While I was working on a full background post on Elmer's Diner scandal, since the News-Times did such a poor job with their story on the Diner nightmare, I felt compelled to start rolling on my footage.
Given this fact, one has to wonder why is it that the traffic conditions at the diner's highly congested location were not addressed?
Think about it.
Elmer's Diner consist of 22 parking spaces for a place that seats 88 people.
Again...the diner ONLY has 22 parking spaces for 88 people.
Now, based on that fact alone, you know you're going to run into some problems. Oh, lets not leave out the fact that there is no stop light present, no crosswalk, and it's only a two lane street.
Since the parking is limited and the parking area is extremely tight, customers are opting to do either one of two dangerous things: park on the shoulder of Padanaram Road, (people opening their car doors while not parking properly off the shoulder and are too far into the road, customers leaving the diner AND MAKING AN ILLEGAL U-TURN IN TRAFFIC, customers leaving the parking lot are limited in the amount of traffic they can due to the cars parked an the road). WHAT'S EVEN MORE DANGEROUSLY are the customers who have no regard for the traffic laws (or didn't notice that there isn't a crosswalk in the street) and are parking across the street at the strip mall, taking their lives into their hands, and darting across the busy street.
Note the irresponsible parent rushing across the street to the diner WITH HER KIDS IN HER HANDS.
Now, again, with the limited parking, the major traffic congestion on this stretch of road, and the parking on the other side of the street, EVERYONE in Danbury knew the exact problems we now face were going to happen.
What will it take for Mayor Boughton adn those who are in charge in keeping our roads safe will show some noticeable amount of leadership and get this situation taken care of before someone gets hurt?
• Will a MAJOR accident do the trick?
• Will someone getting hit by a car to get City Hall to deal with the situation?
Unfortunately, the city HAS done nothing about the TRAFFIC DISASTER that everyone knew was coming. According to the News-Times, Mayor Boughton hasn't gotten around to addressing the EASIEST traffic problem that should have been addressed months ago...sending a formal request to the state to post NO PARKING SIGNS IN FRONT OF THE DINER.
Nearly 25,000 motorists drive on Padanaram Road between Hayestown Avenue and Golden Hill Road each weekday, according to city traffic statistics.
Capt. Robert Myles said even though police haven't handed out tickets for parking on Padanaram Road, vehicles could be towed if they jut out into the road.
"There is a wide shoulder, but you can see where it could be a hazard," he said.
Myles said the police are talking with the state Department of Transportation about putting up three "No Parking" signs along the state road.
Judd Everhart, a DOT spokesman, said a formal request for signs from the city had not been filed as of Tuesday.
Once it's filed, a state worker will check out the scene. Everhart could not set a timetable for the process, but said it would be "weeks compared to days."
To give you a real idea of just how bad things are over on Padanaram right now, I present to you this following video footage of the location. While your watching the trainwreck, take note of the following situations:
• AN ELDERLY WOMAN CROSSING THE STREET WITH THE USE OF A WALKER.
• A customer leaving the diner in a SUV, after parking on the shoulder of Padanaram Road, and MAKING A U-TURN.
• A woman making a ill-advised left hand turn out of the parking lot which could have resulted in an accident.
• Customers having problems turning in and out of the diner parking lot due to cars on the street, which are blocking the view of the road.
• The sound of brakes locking up on a truck that is driving too fast, which during the winter would certainly hit the set of cars pulling out of the parking lot.
After almost being a victim of an accident while videotaping on the sidewalk, and watching a senior citizen crossing Padanaram Road (using a walker) to a parking spot that was not designated for the diner, and incident after incident of diner customers causing traffic violations, it's my sincere opinion that the current administration has once again failed the residents of Danbury by not taking the necessary steps to keep one of the most heavily trafficked road in the area safe.
In other words, this whole traffic situation should not have happened in the first place because the city should have addressed the issue (at the very least). Seeing that the city hasn't requested that the DOT place NO PARKING signs in front of the diner (which would at least solve the problem with cars parking in the shoulder and being in the way of emergency vehicles) speaks volumes about the foresight of this administration.
Again the problems stemming from the opening of the diner is NOTHING new to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the construction of the site. This very blog has commented several times on the traffic conditions in that area of Danbury/New Fairfield going as far as posting a videos of the traffic near the stie of the diner late last year. When the mayor addressed the diner in the media, he felt it better to use the overused political card of placing the blame on the past administration for the conditions in which Elmer's Diner came into existence instead of maybe addressing the matters the diner is creating under his own watch.
Again, this portion of the News-Times article speaks volumes about the foresight of this administration.
Judd Everhart, a DOT spokesman, said a formal request for [NO PARKING] signs [in front of the diner] from the city had not been filed as of Tuesday.I guess the mayor was too busy playing the role of the immigration czar (here, here, and here), to address real issues in Danbury that people are up in arms about. I guess Mayor Mark didn't get the memo that his immigration well is just about all dried out.
Well keep an eye on things and let you know when the first person is hit by a car, someone pulls a stupid traffic move that causes a major accident, when parks on the side of the road, opens a car door and it gets ripped off by a passing car, or any other host of traffic problems that even Stevie Wonder could see happening months ago.
If anyone gets hurt, you know which way to point the finger...