First Selectman Gordon Joseloff urged state Department of Transportation officials on Monday to speed up planned traffic improvements near where a pedestrian was killed Saturday in front of a popular restaurant on Post Road East.
“This project adding an additional crosswalk in the area has been in the works for some time now and obviously takes on added urgency with this weekend’s tragic death,” he said in a statement released by his office.
Joseloff said he toured the area on Monday, met with the general manager of Shake Shack on Post Road East, and with the restaurant's New York-based senior director of operations. He added that he also met with Police Chief Dale Call and Public Works Director Steve Edwards improving pedestrian safety in the area.
“The reality is that even with the proposed addition of a crosswalk across Post Road East on the east side of Bulkley Avenue, there will still be a temptation for some people to avoid the short walk to the crosswalk and dart across that busy roadway,” he said.
Joseloff said among short term solutions, he urged Shake Shack managers to explore adding additional parking on its side of the street by making arrangements with adjoining property owners and add signs inside and outside the restaurant warning its customers of the dangers of not crossing in a crosswalk.
He said that since the restaurant opened in July 2011, it had periodically hired private security guards to help guide parking on its property as well as ushering customers across the street where there is additional parking in a shopping center.
“But the manager told me today that ended when the state told the restaurant its employees had no authority to stop traffic on Post Road East to allow pedestrians to cross,” he said. “We’re looking into that aspect as well.”