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Council Supports Route 195 Widening Project

The resolution asks the state to conduct a comprehensive traffic study of the Route 195 corridor from Tolland to UConn and requests that the public safety issue at the Rhodes Road/Goose Lane intersection is addressed.

The town council supported the latest version of the at its Tuesday meeting.

In the resolution endorsing the Department of Transportation project, there is also a call to address the hazardous Goose Lane/Rhodes Road intersection, as well as a request for a comprehensive traffic study of the Route 195 corridor.

Council member Josh Freeman asked that the resolution include language concerning the skewed intersection, which he called a "public safety issue."

While he said that realignment may not be possible, given the complexity of the issue and the effect it would have on the property of business owners located there, Freeman said that the curb cuts at the Citgo station are particularly hazardous, allowing drivers uncontrolled access to the intersection in front of traffic signals.

The resolution was amended to include the concern.

Fellow council member Sam Belsito, who voted against the resolution, said that the council should not approve the project, because it "does not satisfy the needs of the Tolland community."

In particular, he cited the need to realign the Goose Lane/Rhodes Road intersection, and concerns that a bottleneck in traffic could appear south of the intersection, after the road narrows back down to a single lane.

Belsito said that the town should not support the plan until all of its requests are met.

"They're going to fix this road, no matter what," he said. The state has been planning on widening the road since 2002 in order to prevent traffic back up on I-84.

For a full description of the project, check out .

The council also gave an update on its progress regarding the . According to a statement from Vice-Chairperson Richard Field, the council still needs to hear a report from the town attorney and town staff on a number of legal issues concerning the property, including:

  • the legal meaning of the conservation easements
  • the ability of rights under the deed to transfer to an heir
  • the rights to septic fields and water on the town property that have been retained by the Campbell's

The town bought the 13 acres in question from the Campbell family in 2003. According to Field's statement, a previous town council in 2010 authorized town staff to investigate entering into an arrangement with the CT Farmland Trust to maintain the land's agricultural use. CT Farmland Trust sent a proposed agreement to the town two months ago, Field said, to which the council must respond.

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A number of residents attended Tuesday's meeting, voicing their support to maintain the land's traditional agricultural use.

Field reassured residents that the council intends to keep the property as farmland, but that there are still a number of legal issues to be discussed in regards to the manner in which that will be done.

A copy of his statement at the meeting is posted above.

The council will discuss the property again at its Oct. 9 meeting.

The council meets next on Monday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fire Training Center.

jmf September 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Turning the Peaceful Valley land into community gardens could be something to consider. Town use, open space, farmland.

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