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DOT suggests roundabouts for Norwich's 'crash alley'

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) -- There are a lot of cars and businesses along Rt. 82 and all that traffic has lead to quite a few crashes. Norwich continues to try to put the brakes on that.

While it has been resistant to roundabouts on the so-called 'crash alley' which was the scene of a fatal accident in 2014, the state Department of Transportation believes they are the best way to go.

"It's not going to make it safer it's just going to confuse people and there's going to be more accidents," said Craig Aulik of Uncasville.

The DOT says in the last three years there have been an average 117 crashes each year with 26 injuries.

"People don't obey the stop signs and they don't obey the lights," said one Norwich woman who did not want to be identified.

"You can never get the right light to come in here," said Carol Leljedal of Norwich. "It will turn red and then you're sitting there and sitting there and it turns green now the other part is going and you still can't get across. We need an arrow."

The DOT which says surprisingly many of the accidents happen in between intersections at smaller driveways. That's why it is suggesting putting in a median which would prevent left turns and installing six roundabouts to make U-turns easier and keep traffic flowing.

"Anyone in a roundabout has the right of way," explains Salem first selectman Kevin Lyden.

Salem has had a roundabout at the Rt. 82 and Rt. 85 intersection for 7 years.

"This was a dangerous intersection. We had one death and several critical accidents here," said Lyden."

Now no critical accidents just fender benders.

"People can't have head on collisions," said Lyden. "They can't T-bone each other."

"I don't know what a roundabout is," said Leljedal.

"If they could widen the road so they could have center lanes," suggests Aulik who feels that is a better option.

If the lights are replaced by roundabouts on Rt. 82 it's not going to be for quite a while. There's still more to be discussed and designed.


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