New Haven is hoping a low-cost option will have a big impact when it comes to cutting down on car crashes.
According to New Haven, the issue was people specifically seniors were having a hard time crossing Valley Street.
City officials put up these reflective, plastic pillars, called delineators that designed to calm traffic and slow down cars. The city said Valley Street location was only the beginning.
The delineators catch peoples’ eyes as they come around the corner on Valley Street.
"It was pretty rough, people would zoom by,” Tom Ciancia, of New Haven, said. “We used to joke about it because we've had several people crash into the house next door."
But, after the city installed these delineators, Ciancia said he's noticed a difference. A process that first started when they put in a speed radar.
"People started slowing down, 35-40 mph,” Ciancia said. “Then they put the lines in the street that did a little more suppression, maybe 30-35, and now they're going 20-25."
The idea is these reflective, plastic posts narrow the road, and that causes drivers to slow down.
"It was important for us to channelize our drivers and let them be aware that they're coming back up into a more populated, more residential dense, district,” Doug Hausladen, with New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking, said.
City crews will be installing them next on Long Wharf by the bike lane near the food trucks. Then they'll move into other high traffic areas. The hope is to reduce speed and the number of car crashes, which New Haven had 7,800 of last year.
"These things are flexible, they do bend and they do snap back,” Hausladen said."What’s great is this is about 35-40 bucks, if we can screw it up, we can replace it. For us to be able to test out concept, before going to a hard engineering solution is quite important for us as a department."
While this is the first time the city is looking into the option, the DOT installed these delineators on Ella T Grasso Boulevard near Frontage Road following a serious crash more than 10 years ago.
Back on Valley Street, neighbors such as Ciancia told Eyewitness News it already appears to be working.
"Since they've put these things in, people seem to be slowing down, and it’s good for our neighborhood and especially good for the seniors that live across the street,” Ciancia said.
The city says it’s not just used to slow cars down. They can also use these plastic flex posts as bump outs around crosswalks by shortening the road area that people have to cross.
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