Home » Letters to the Editor March 2, 2012

Letters to the Editor March 2, 2012

Mailbox placements are a hazard on Torringford StreetIn December 2011, an elderly resident on Torringford Street in Winsted was struck and killed by a vehicle as he retrieved his mail. This accident was not a surprise to those who live on this street as the difficulty crossing this state highway has long been a concern.Along a two-mile stretch of road there are several residences on the west side which have their rural mail boxes on the east side. Many of the residents are 65 years or older, with some beyond 75 years old. For many, the mail is their connection with the world. Asking them to wait for someone to go to the mailbox for them often falls on deaf ears (which is also an issue for these seniors). Their ability to hear oncoming traffic and to physically move quickly is impaired, which puts both them and a driver at great risk.The constant traffic that residents face has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Once a relatively quiet area of town, Torringford Street has become the most direct route to a rapidly developing commercial area of Torrington. The construction of many stores and industrial parks has resulted in more traffic on Torringford Street. Residents must often wait to access their mailboxes, and sight lines are not often clear.Shortly after one crosses the town line, headed south to Torrington, the mailboxes on Torringford Street (also called Route 183 South), are located on both sides of the road. Additionally, the mailboxes on the other state roads within the Town of Winchester — Route 183 North, Route 8 North, Route 44 West — are on both sides of the road, yet on this small section of Route 183 South, with its concentration of older residents, mailboxes are on one side only.Although allowing residents to relocate their mailbox to the east side of the road would require a change in the pattern of mail delivery, the dangers faced by residents crossing the road would be eliminated. Lane width has been cited by the United States Postal Service as a reason for not moving the boxes, but in some locations on the Torrington side where boxes are on both sides, the lane width is narrower than the area in question. The concentration of senior citizens, the significant amount of traffic on this road, the relatively short stretch of highway involved and the desire to prevent another tragedy should be ample reason to redesign the delivery route and allow residents to place their mailboxes on the east side of Torringford Street, Route 183 South. Please consider encouraging the USPS to make the changes necessary to afford residents safe access to their mail.Leo V. VaccariWinsted

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