Middlebury eyes fix for key Court Street intersection in front of high school

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents will be asked on Tuesday, Oct. 13, to weigh in on some proposed safety and traffic-related upgrades at the intersection of Court Street, Charles Avenue and Monroe Street.
At issue are really two intersections that are closely aligned in a manner that promotes inefficient traffic flow, driver confusion and safety issues, according to Middlebury officials. The current intersection configuration also discourages continuity with the surrounding neighborhood — including Middlebury Union High School — and serves as a barrier to efficient north-south circulation through Middlebury, officials added.
The town has hired a consultant from Vanasse, Hangen, Brustlin Inc. (VHB), an engineering and planning firm, to help design options to improve safety for all intersection users, accommodate student drop off and pick up, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the connectivity of the bicycle and pedestrian network.
Officials have thus far mapped out three intersection improvement alternatives. They include:
•  A Charles Avenue roundabout. This would replace the existing traffic signal at the Charles Street-Court Street intersection with a single-lane roundabout. A new southbound, left turn would be added on Court Street at the Monroe Street intersection.
•  A Monroe Street roundabout. This would replace both Court Street traffic signals with a single-lane roundabout. Charles Avenue would be realigned to intersect Court Street across from Monroe Street. School parking (or enhanced open space) is created as a result of the relocation of Charles Avenue.
• Monroe Street signal. This results in removal of the existing Charles Avenue traffic signal and realigns Charles Avenue to intersect with Court Street across from Monroe Street. School parking (or enhanced open space) is created through the relocation of Charles Avenue.
Town officials have not yet released the cost estimates for these options.
The Oct. 13 public meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Middlebury Union High School auditorium.
Middlebury Public Works Director of Operations Dan Werner and David Saladino of VHB will provide a brief overview of the project and present the alternatives developed to enhance safety, accessibility, and overall operations at the intersection.

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