Marlborough - Segment 2: Town Center
In Marlborough center, CT 66 is a two-lane road with no turn lanes, except at the Main St intersection. This intersection was reconstructed in 2000 to add left turn lanes on CT 66 East and North and South Main St, and to relocate Jones Hollow Rd, which used to be a fifth leg to this intersection from the northeast (Jones Hollow Rd now intersects North Main St to the north of CT 66. The School Dr and Independence Dr intersections are 0.14 miles apart, and the Independence Dr and Main St intersections are 0.19 miles apart. In total, this section of CT 66, from School Dr to east of Main St, is about 0.4 miles long.
This section of CT 66 has two main traffic problems. The first is the occasional backup of cars waiting to turn left into either Independence Dr or one of the business driveways. The other is the heavy traffic at rush hour. At the peak of many morning rush hours, traffic on CT 66 East backs up for 1/8 to 1/4 of a mile from the stoplight. Evening rush hours have similar backups on CT 66 West. These backups are becoming more common as both Marlborough and the neighboring town of East Hampton grow.
The speed limit along this stretch is 30 MPH, yet traffic often flows at 45 to 50 MPH during non-peak hours. Residents have complained about the high speed of traffic, and police have responded with speed traps in the area. This is not an adequate solution; the road has wide lanes and shoulders, which create an environment conducive to high speeds.
The main feature of the reconfiguration is the turn lane. In general, it is a center turn lane, where traffic in either direction can make a left turn. In addition, traffic turning left out of driveways can turn into the center turn lane and wait before merging into traffic. Turning traffic currently often waits one to two minutes for both directions to clear, so this feature would help relieve traffic.
Instead of a center turn lane, there will be left turn lanes installed at a few intersections. CT 66 East would have a left turn lane at the Marlborough Village Green shopping center, and Independence Dr. CT 66 West would have a left turn lane at the Marlborough Tavern Green shopping center, and School Dr. These left turn lanes are needed due to the higher amounts of turning traffic at these locations.