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Is Clintonville Road Dangerous?

In the wake of Wednesday's tragic death of a 16-year-old cyclist, Patch readers say that Clintonville Road is not safe - what do you think?

On Wednesday, 16-year-old Connor Kusmit was riding his bicycle on Clintonville Road (Route 22) near Country Way. It was around 5 p.m., when . He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On Thursday, a Patch reader posted a comment on the article that Clintonville Road was dangerous, and becoming ever more so because trucks were now using it was a shortcut to the interstate.

We posted the comment on North Haven Patch's Facebook page, asking if others agreed. These are the responses we received.

Kerry Mattie: I absolutely agree. The loss of this boy is an absolute tragedy and my condolences go out to his family, all of those who knew him and to our entire community.
As far as what can be done? That's not an easy answer, it will take thought, community involvement and good design to solve. It will take effort, time and caring commitment. I'd be more than willing to get together with community members and try to figure it out. It's not the only street in town that has these issues either.

Kevin Pataky: Safety starts with education. I don't know the circumstances involved in this altercation, but I have to say I have seen kids riding their bikes right down the middle of Mill Road, and crossing the street without even looking on Clintonville, misjudging vehicle speeds. These kids are also not wearing any safety helmets or anything either. I have also seen them riding ATVs down Mills Road and across Clintonville - right in the middle of the Road.

Kerry Mattie: That is true, however, vehicles consistently drive in excess of the posted speed on Clintonville. Roads should be for EVERYONE in the community, not just vehicular traffic.

Kevin Pataky: But cyclists should also know proper sides of the street and hand signals and wear the proper equipment before taking to such streets. I mean just because you buy a bike doesn't mean you should just hop on the main road with it before being educated about proper useage. I don't know if its even legal for 3 or 4 wheel ATVs to be going down these streets, but it sure is surprising as a motorist to see them come popping out of the woods into the road or going down the street the other way while driving.

Kevin Pataky: I agree, by the way that people drive too fast over there. Maybe more police coverage over there every once in a while?

Sharon Cerasoli: I have told my son I don't even want him walking to his girlfriend's house on Clintonville Rd..people drive too fast, and with people texting and talking on the phone, distracted drivers are everywhere...Having said that, we don't know as of yet what happened... But I was always cautious with my kids riding bikes on our street (smaller street but cut through at rush hour) during the commuting times...People are in a rush. Not sure if this boy had on a helmet, most teens don't wear them unfortunately...very very tragic event, and so sorry for this family!

Joe Papagoda: I live right at the intersection of Clintonville. There are always bad accidents. I've seen cars flip over and hit into sides of houses. A lot could be done. Even trucks speed on through at night.

What's your take? Is the street dangerous? What would help? Police presence? Different speed limit? Add your thoughts in the comments.

Kathleen Jensen August 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Can someone please tell me why there is a crosswalk on Rt. 22 @ Country Way & NO traffic light & NO walk signal!!! I dont know if this poor little boy thought he had the right of way because of it or not, but...for someone who may not know "rules of the road", this could be very deceiving!! We live on the corner of Clintonville & Bassett...In the 10 years here, I can't begin to tell you how many accidents (vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclists) we have seen & heard, I don't have enough fingers and toes to count that HIGH!! I just this past year started allowing my 14 & 16 year olds to cross Clintonville Rd.& only at the light, guess what?...NOT EVER AGAIN!!
Rich Halkyard August 31, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I bike around town for work and errands and something has to be done regarding enforcement of state laws regarding crossings, speeding and cell phone usage. Our town is perfect for cycling and walking but not with the dangers that exist. One very important safety issue is the condition of many of our roads and bike lanes. I was surprised to hear that our town has no authority to clean or clear state roads such as routes 22, 5, 40 and State St.. I was also surprised to find out that the State only has 2 sweepers for the entire New Haven County area. BTW, it is illegal to bike on the sidewalk!
bob August 31, 2012 at 02:14 PM
They shoud ban these big semis that use this road for a shortcut to I 95N in branford.
sharon cerasoli August 31, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Kate good point! not sure why there would be a crosswalk without a light...that does not make sense on a busy road... definitely this tragedy will hopefully spur discussion about what is a safe setup for cars, bikes etc.
Ruth September 01, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I agree Bob. You should see Elm Street. There are big semis that go up and down the street almost everyday.
Amanda September 01, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I agree with all comments that road is very dangerous for a young boy to lose his life on his way back home is just terrible I feel sorry for him and family.kids like to ride there bikes cars need to take more caution to the the road and there surrounding clintonville rd is not a very well lit road and needs more stop lights ..to the family of connor I send my condolences.rip connor
Robin Keohane September 01, 2012 at 06:48 AM
We are no longer a quaint town lets face it we are a city, and we are no equipped to handle the growth coming to this area. Due to our location and highway access we will see more growth when the economy slowly rebounds. We are home to several vocational schools, two colleges, national and international corporations and many shopping and dining choices! But we have a road infrastructure in some parts that are like cow paths. I love this area and the fine people that live here but we must ready ourselves for the droves of transient students, workers and shoppers that share our roads. To protect our greatest assets the children that we as tax payers are raising! Traffic studies should be done and bike paths, stop lights and cross walks should go where necessary . Also our parks need upgrading, where have all the swings and slides gone? I know of parcels of land given to the people that are not even accessible. My heart goes out to the kusmit family, God Bless!
Debbie September 01, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I live on Clintonville Road right up the street from the accident. I have tried to cross this street on my own and sometimes it takes over 10 minutes. I have lived here for 25 years and the cars just go faster and faster. I can't tell you how many times I have put on my blinker to turn into my driveway and almost get hit because the person behind me is not paying attention and driving to fast. I have children that are required to cross this street everyday to get on their bus. Its very disturbing as a parent. The Kusmit family is in my constant prayers. What a tragedy. I agree we need to get these trucks off of this route and maybe some more traffic lights just to slow traffic down. I also know I as a parent will now never be to lazy to let my child go out and ride a bike with out a helmet whether or not he wants one. I am also responsible for not following rules that are there for a reason and this has truly changed how I will act in the future. Its a tragic lesson to learn.
Stephen Sandagata September 03, 2012 at 02:27 AM
having worked for the police department for twenty years, i can never forget the motorcycle accident that happened back in 1992 or so. . . right near country way and Rt 22. where is really dark. . . .two motorcycles crashed. . .i will not go into detail about the gory details, but it's not the road itself that is dangerous///there needs to be more police enforcement there, not just on Ridge and Dixwell or Bassett rd////this needs to be dealt with
Edward H. Reinholtz September 04, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Clintonville Road is A very bad road . The cars speed by on Clintonville all the time . I recently was hit at the Intersection of Bassett Road which is off Clintonville Rd . Clintonville Rd is a state Road and it is very Hard to get the proper lights . They will investigate until they find a solution . I was fortunate to have only lost my Car . The light at The Bassett/Clintonville/Mill road intersection has Changed and When I go to Work at night I don't Have to worry about Getting Hit there . The light now starts blinking after 12 am in the Morning .
Bobbie Davis September 07, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Clintonville Road is just as dangerous as any other road that vehicles travel on...the details of that accident were not released. I AM IN NO WAY saying who was at fault and it really doesn't matter because for the family to lose their child is unthinkable but I have been traveling down Clintonville plenty of times when 4-8 teenagers on bicycles swerve in and out of cars during rush hour to get to the other side. It is dangerous when people text while driving or just plain aren't paying attention but these children need to learn to obey the rules of the road also!!!!!

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