State rep raises pedestrian safety concerns on Bridgeport Avenue

State Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford) announced Tuesday that she is working with Milford’s police department and the State Department of Transportation (DOT) on addressing pedestrian safety concerns, particularly on Bridgeport Avenue.

Last month, a serious hit and run accident took place in the Bridgeport Avenue and Woodland Avenue area: Amanda Keane was hit by a car while leaving work at the Bridge House Restaurant. Keane was badly injured. Police are still investigating, and a gofundme page has been set up to help raise money for her medical bills.

Several days later a boy was hurt when he was hit by a car while waiting at his school bus stop. Sources said the boy suffered a broken arm.

"We had the unfortunate experience of having two pedestrians struck on Bridgeport Avenue just a few weeks ago, within days of each other, and a family was killed several years ago, which prompted me to request the traffic statistics for that area,” Rose said.

The report Rep. Rose reviewed revealed that 17 pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents occurred from Exit 34 along Bridgeport Avenue to Rivercliff Drive, including four fatalities between 2006 and 2016, she said in a press release.

“Upon reviewing the statistics that I requested, it became clear to me that this is one of the most dangerous stretches of road for pedestrians in Milford,” Rose said. “I had a productive, in-depth conversation with Milford’s Police Chief, Keith L. Mello, who informed me that he has stepped up patrols in the area in an effort to discourage speeding and DUI’s, reaffirming his utmost commitment to the safety of our residents. I am also in communication with the DOT, looking at ways to improve safety to help reduce these tragic accidents.”

Rose said she would like to explore how to make crosswalks more visible in the area, repainting the crosswalks, determining if adjusting the timing of traffic/crossing lights will make a difference and possibly making the lighting brighter along Bridgeport Avenue.

"Safety for our pedestrians is a priority of all of us and I look forward to working together to make improvements,” she said.

This past session the legislature voted to increase penalties for failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, Rose said. The new law takes effect Oct. 1.

“As with any new law, enforcement is critical for compliance,” Rose said. “In the meantime, I urge motorists and pedestrians to use extreme caution and encourage families to discuss pedestrian safety measures with young ones.”

After the two recent accidents, Mayor Ben Blake said he was also looking at the area and discussing whether additional safety measures were needed on Bridgeport Avenue.

He said in both recent accidents, the drivers appeared to have been speeding.