Here’s Why Rush Hour Traffic Was Backed Up in Downtown Danbury on Wednesday
Honk if You're Hurried! HONK! HONK! BEEP! BEEP!
Downtown Danbury was in a bit of traffic turmoil on Wednesday (4/26/23) as the traffic lights were out in the intersection of Main & West. We spoke to Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito the next morning and asked him what the deal was.
What the hell was going on yesterday? The traffic lights were on in the Main & West intersection, it was chaos.
"In all honestly, I drove down West Street from City Hall on my way to another event, it was about six o'clock and I got to that intersection and I saw the stop sign and I called my guy Jon Barney up and I said Johnny, we have to get some police down here. What's going on at the intersection? And, we sent police officers there eventually to help the traffic flow. But, you guys know as well as I do when you get technical difficulties it's tough. A crew got out there right away and got it repaired but it was a little hairy out there."
Was it all related to the work that was already going on, on Main Street with the overnight construction they're doing underground?
"You know Eversource is down there putting those gas pipes in and I think they inadvertently hit some of our wires. You know the whole thing is positive, we're getting all that underground stuff done. We've talked about it in the past, the Downtown development and the new streetscape, the roads, the sidewalks and plantings. But, unfortunately they must have hit something. We're keeping a closer eye on those guys as they work, they're at night as you know. They're down there trying to do it as much as possible, at night so it won't create a big traffic problem."
I reached out to Eversource and spoke with Mitchell Gross from the Media Relations Department who told us:
"We’re in the process of upgrading our natural gas delivery system in that area and the problem occurred when the contractor working for us accidentally hit the line that powers the traffic lights there. We worked with the City of Danbury to correct the problem as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconveniences drivers experienced."
The hardest part of a traffic situation like that, is learning how bad people are at driving. I had to pass through the intersection several times Wednesday afternoon and folks were making some gonzo decisions. What is with the guy leaning on the horn at the end. We're all stuck in this sir, relax. Are the cars in front of him supposed to evaporate?
I pass through the overnight construction on my way to work.
It had me thinking, on the one hand, these poor guys have to work through the night in a hole. The other part of me wants to know what's down there? What does Danbury look like underneath? Now I must know. Maybe I can do a Danbury version of "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe. Hey Eversource, can I do an evening in the hole with your guys? That sounds dirtier than I meant it to.
We also spoke to the Mayor about his upcoming dance competition, the new water infrastructure vote and a charity event the Mayo was a part of at Gallo Family Restaurant. You can listen to the full interview below.