Marlborough - Segment 4: East of the Center
Within the first 1/4 mile east of the CT 2 Interchange, CT 66 currently has two intersections. The first is at the Marlborough Common shopping center, and the second is at Shepard Drive. The Marlborough Common shopping center is an older shopping center with little traffic entering or exiting. There is a flashing beacon controlling this intersection; CT 66 has a flashing yellow, while traffic exiting the shopping center has a flashing red. Glenwood Drive is positioned to be a fourth leg to this intersection; however, it dead-ends before reaching CT 66. The second intersection, with Shepard Drive, is an access into a neighborhood. It is the only access to this neighborhood, since Glenwood Drive is cutoff from CT 66.
There is not a large problem in this area currently, although this will change in the near future. The town of Marlborough is constructing a business park on the north side of CT 66. There will be a new road connecting CT 66 to Jones Hollow Road, allowing for an eastern bypass of the town center. The intersection with CT 66 will be between Shepard Drive and the Marlborough Common. In addition, the Marlborough Common has been purchased by a developer, and it will be expanded soon, possibly with a large tenant attracting regional traffic. This combination could cause traffic problems within the next two to five years.
The imminent traffic concerns should be addressed now with preemptive measures. One possible solution is by building roundabouts. Here, two roundabouts could be built. The first would be at the entrance to the Marlborough Common shopping center. This would replace the existing flashing beacon, and increase the capacity of this intersection. The intersection with the business park road would also have a roundabout. To prevent having a third intersection, Shepard Drive would be closed. Instead, Glenwood Drive would connect to the Marlborough Common roundabout, allowing access to the neighborhood.
If these roundabouts were built in conjunction with roundabouts at the CT 2 interchange, there would be four roundabouts in less than a half a mile. There may be some concerns about the close placement of these roundabouts. However, there have been other areas in the U.S., as well as in other countries, that have roundabouts in close proximity, without major traffic issues. Traffic on CT 66 is well within the limits of what a roundabout can handle, so there should not be major traffic tieups.