Fate of Phillips Way in Milford won’t be decided until at least December

MILFORD – Residents of Prospect Street and the Ledgewood condominium complex filled the Town Hall banquet room Monday afternoon for another Milford Traffic Safety Committee meeting, but they’ll have to wait until December for any kind of resolution to their Phillips Way dilemma.

Phillips Way is a short road that connects the condos to Prospect Street, and the condo association is asking for its direction to be reversed so residents have an alternate way to exit the complex.

Now the only exit is Tonella Road, which they say becomes unsafe when it meets Nashua Street.

About 80 people attended the meeting, held in the banquet room to accommodate a crowd.

At the end of the meeting, the committee decided to postpone a decision on whether to recommend a change in the road’s direction.

But virtually everyone agreed that the real problem was the intersection of Tonella Road and Nashua Street, the only exit currently available to residents of Ledgewood.

In October, the committee held two meetings on the topic and voted to recommend no change to the road’s direction. But those meetings were repeated, because they had not been properly posted.

On Monday afternoon, committee Chairman Gil Archambault apologized for the delay and told people “we want a positive solution for both sides.”

On Oct. 30, the committee voted to recommend to selectmen that they keep Phillips Way one-way going in. This pleased Prospect Street residents, who say the change would greatly increase traffic on their road, and displeased condo owners who say the Tonella Road intersection is dangerous.

During 90 minutes of discussion on Nov. 18, residents repeated many of the arguments for and against the change.

After the meeting, Archambault said town officials will talk to the owner of County Stores to see if there is a way to make the Tonella Road intersection safer, perhaps by restricting vehicle parking in parts of the store’s parking lot where it affects traffic visibility.

The town’s Community Development Director Bill Parker reviewed the history of Ledgewood, going back to 2000, which included plans for the 18-foot wide one-way Phillips Way, intended to be an emergency entrance to Ledgewood.

Over the years, the condo associated has petitioned unsuccessfully for the Board of Selectmen to make it two-way or change its direction.

Police Chief Michael Viola, a member of the committee, reported that between 2010 and 2013, there have been 37 accidents on that part of Nashua Street, between Clinton and Vine streets.

The committee has also been asked to make recommendations on two requests from Prospect Street residents: a reduction of its speed limit, from 30 to 25 mph and no through trucking.

“But,” said Chuck Schelberg, of Ledgewood, “the core problem is not Prospect, it’s Tonella Road at Nashua Street, and solving it will need warrant articles and maybe the taking of property” to make the intersection safer.

The committee will meet again in mid-December, but a date was not chosen.