Middletown fire officials call for changes to intersection - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Middletown fire officials call for changes to intersection

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Area of Randolph Road and Lee Street in Middletown (WFSB) Area of Randolph Road and Lee Street in Middletown (WFSB)

People who live along Randolph Road and Lee Street in Middletown say the area is notorious for accidents.

The fire chief, whose station sits along both roads, says it's downright dangerous; and while there have been calls for changes to the traffic light, one state agency has firmly said no.

Officials said there have been 15 accidents in the last six years, all in the area around Lee Street and Randolph Road, an area near two schools.

Middletown South Fire Chief Rob Ross has been sounding the alarm to get the Department of Transportation to change the flashing signals that are in the area.

“When you look at everything in the intersection, the angle of the side street, the proximity of the firehouse, the various times of year where the sun is either coming up in the morning or setting in the afternoon, I think there are a lot of things in the intersection that make it inherently unsafe,” Ross said.

Firefighters have control of the lights to stop traffic for emergencies, but drivers on Lee Street say they can't clearly see oncoming traffic without jumping into Randolph Road.

Then there's sun glare, which Ross says was a factor in a crash that happened in the area on Aug. 12.

The DOT did investigate the intersection in 2013, taking into account crash data, traffic, among other factors and denied the city’s request.

A spokesperson for the DOT says the sight-lines in the area are fine and that the intersection doesn't come close to the standard for needing a full traffic signal.

Ross said he feels they need to come back again, saying “you can't help but wonder if it's a matter of time before something more tragic occurs."

The I-Team reached out to Middletown’s mayor, who said the fire chief mentioned this issue to him last August, but he believes there are bigger public safety concerns in the city.

Mayor Dan Drew said his office isn’t involved in trying to get any changes made there at this point.

The Location Traffic Authority said it did not agree with the DOT's decision, but did not say why.

Eyewitness News reached out to the LTA, but hasn't heard back.

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