Drive with Caution in Firemen’s Circle, or Avoid it Altogether
On April 1, 2019, as I was driving towards Grace Church Street, my car hit the second shaded protruding abutment in the new Firemen’s Circle. Luckily, no one was hurt, but my two-year-old Honda Civic was badly damaged. I filed a complaint with the City Clerk and also sent letters with photos and an expensive car repair estimate to the Mayor, the Council, and the City Manager. There were no workmen there that day, no signage, no orange cones, nor any other warning of the new configuration of this circle.
A couple of days after my accident and those of many others, I noticed a portable electronic caution sign was installed near the Rye Arts Center, orange cones were put up, yield signs were installed, and some other adjustments were made. This area should never have been opened without the necessary precautions. I found out other people got flat tires as I did. One woman told me on the Rye Moms’ website that her son damaged the axle of his car. There were 66 complaints of various kinds on the website.
I’m glad that there are finally some safety warnings, but the configuration of this new circle is poorly designed. I can’t even imagine going through the circle at night. Trucks, buses, emergency vehicles, and other large vehicles are affected too. I cannot conceive of children crossing the circle to get to Midland School unless there is a School Crossing Guard. I strongly feel that some modifications have to be made.
After 47 years of driving around the Firemen’s Circle, I now avoid the area altogether and use the Post Road to get into town. Will this be the new safest route for everyone? Is this the best way to enter our lovely city?
Thank you for publishing Marie Altmeyer’s letter in your last issue to alert people to this problem. The photo you published was also helpful.