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Resident Says Stop Light is Terrorizing Her

Public comment continues on Central Avenue light.

Debate over the pedestrian activated stop light on Central Avenue just in from Clover continued Tuesday night as residents continued to press the Town Council to remove the light and Council members listened without answering questions.

The Issue

Central Avenue residents Adina Encelscu and Maria Carluccio have been addressing the Council since September asking for the town to remove a new pedestrian activated light from Encelscu’s lawn. The two have also questioned if the light should be on Encelscu’s lawn or should it be moved to the intersection with Clover Street, a 100 feet away.

The pair, who have been joined by several other residents and have submitted a petition signed by over 100 residents, have pressed the issue every two weeks at public Council meetings. Mayor Andy Skibitsky and Town Council members have said they are leaving the light operational for a period of time to determine its effectiveness and safety.

Skibitsky and other Council members have said they would stop answering questions from Carluccio and Encelscu saying they have answered them already.

The light was placed in order to allow children to cross Central Avenue on their way to Jefferson School and Edison Intermediate School.

The Quotes

  • Carluccio reiterated several of her previous statements on the light, including recounting for Skibitsky a two-car accident that occurred several weeks ago at the intersection. Carluccio, who said the accident was caused by the light being in the middle of the street and not at the intersection, said she was repeating the story due to Skibitsky’s absence two weeks ago.
  • “If we had staged this accident, it wouldn’t have been more exact of our deepest fears,” Carluccio said.
  • Carluccio questioned the Council on a packet of questions town officials sent to county traffic officials regarding the placement of the light. The light’s placement had to be agreed to by the town and county during the process. Town Administration Jim Gildea answered Carluccio saying the questions have been sent to the county for comment. He did not say when the answers are expected to be sent to the town.
  • Skibitsky sat silent during much of Carluccio’s comments. Towards the end of her allocated 10 minutes he reminded her that her time was up.
  • Carluccio briefly outlined what she said was a near accident at the light on Tuesday afternoon. (Video of Carluccio’s description of the near accident is attached to this article.)
  • “I feel like I am being terrorized by this light,” she said. “I haven’t eaten all day.”

What’s Next?

Carluccio and Encelscu and supporters, including retired police officer Greg Kasko are likely to return to the Council meeting on May 24 to repeat their concerns.

South Westfielder May 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM
I am afraid that Ms Carluccio has now made this her personal battle and as often as I travel this route (every morning and every evening) I have never, never seen anything near the incidents that are being claimed. I have never seen anyone try to make a turn into Dr. Encelscu's driveway. I can appreciate that this is an unusual place for a light (is is different) and like Dr. Erncelscu, I would not like this right next to my driveway. I think it is now time to let this issue rest and for Ms Carluccio to find a new windmill to fight.
benn2009 May 14, 2011 at 03:16 AM
I have lived only a few blocks from this new "intersection" my whole life. Even though Cambridge has been closed off to traffic from Central Avenue for many months, I often forget that I will be unable to reach my home from that street and must make a quick turn onto Roger instead. When coming down Central to turn onto Cedar, I have often done a double-take at the light wondering if I in fact just missed my turn. Point being - a traffic light located where it is is asking for the kind of accidents Ms. Encelscu and other residents have described. Just imagine what it must be like for someone who neither knows the area or what the purpose of the light is, which I have never actually seen operate. Ms. Encelscu's fight is a noble one, and although it is probably one she will not win, you can't blame her for trying to show the town the error of their ways in the name of public safety.
NR9 May 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM
It's time for Mayor Skibitsky to admit he was wrong. The light is insane and creates a VERY dangerous situation.
NR9 May 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM
Just watched the video - Ms. Carluccio- Everyone I know in Westfield is FULLY in support of ALL you are saying! Keep up the fight!
Thomas Jefferson May 14, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Enough Already- I wish the town would appoint Vicki Kimmins Mayor and solve this problem already- Get rid of the light before its too later.
James Lucarelli May 14, 2011 at 07:02 PM
It is in an awkward location. Why not at a main intersection?
Mike May 20, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Although I support the need for a light, I don't support the placement of the light. Several weeks ago I witnessed a fairly serious accident that occurred at the light when a car stopped for the light and was rear ended by the car behind it resulting in the lead car being pushed into the crosswalk where there was children waiting to cross. Could have been much more serious. Also, as an avid bike rider, I (along with my family) use the light often to cross Central. I have personally experienced people running the red light at least 3 times already. Additionally, the light doesn't remain red for long and when I'm crossing by myself it's no big deal, but when I'm making sure that my wife and two young children are safely across as well, it's not enough time. Having a safe manner to cross Central in this area both when a crossing guard is there and after hours is important. However, I believe that I've seen more than enough evidence to be clear that this light is not in a good place. I understand that the TC has said they want 90 days of data. Has it been 90 days yet? The data that I've seen suggests that this light is unsafe. Money alone should not be the determining factor in moving this light.
South Westfielder May 20, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Mike, I understand that the light is in an unual spot and even why some may not like it there. Even if it were moved to where some want it, this particular accident would have happened anyway. The other car was traveling too close to the one ahead of him or her. Cars would ignore or go through the light no matter where it was placed. They regularly speed down Central Avenue and even when I have gone over the speed limit, I have had someone right up my tail or not stop at one of the cross streets and pull out onto Central.

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