Traffic was at a standstill from Norwalk back into Fairfield for more than an hour Thursday morning after after a motorcyclist trying to evade state troopers crashed on Interstate 95 southbound in Norwalk.
The crash happened at about 8 a.m. and led to the closure of the right and center lanes between exits 16 and 15, state police and the state Department of Transportation said. By 8:30 a.m. southbound traffic was backed up as far back as exit 20 in Fairfield, and northbound traffic was backed up in Norwalk while motorists slowed down to look at the crash scene.
State police said they have tried to stop the man in the past for reckless driving.
The driver atop a red motorcycle wearing a yellow helmet crashed at Exit 16, sustaining injuries to his arms and legs, troopers said.
Dispatchers called out the man’s position as he drove southbound, weaving in an out of traffic and driving on the median and shoulder.
Stamford police were being put into position at Exit 6 in Stamford in order to follow the driver because that is where he usually gets off the thruway and where his trail has been lost in the past.
At 8:10 Stamford units were called off Exit 6 because the man had crashed the motorcycle.
Traffic was snarled until the crash was cleared at about 9:30 a.m.
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A two-car crash on Interstate 95 southbound between exits 43 and 42 in West Haven closed the left lane and backed up traffic for about 35 minutes.
State Police reported that two people were evaluated but that there appeared to be no injuries.
The state Department of Transportation reported the lane closure at 11:51 a.m. Tuesday and said it was unclear how long it would take to clear the scene.
A disabled vehicle in the northbound lanes between exits 43 and 44 also briefly backed up traffic but since has been cleared, the DOT said. The right lane had been closed for about 35 minutes after the vehicle was disabled at about 11:30 a.m.
DOT traffic cameras showed traffic backed up several miles into New Haven while state police worked to clear the scene of the crash.
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A traffic report card issued this week showed that the Bridgeport region has the fifth worst traffic in the country.
According to the report — put out by INRIX, a leading international provider of traffic information and intelligent driver service — drivers in the Bridgeport metro (defined as stretching from Milford to Stamford) wasted 42 hours in traffic in 2011. The worst time to be on the road in our neighborhood? Friday from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m.
Keep that in mind as you head off on your Memorial Day getaway!
The report showed that Honolulu has the worst traffic, with drivers wasting 58 hours in traffic in that city in 2011. Click here to read the full release on the report card.
Jim Bak, the report’s co-author, said various factors weighed in coming up with the ranking, including congestion and travel times. Bak said the Bridgeport metro area actually fell in the rankings from last year’s report, when it was determined to have the fourth worst traffic in the country.
In fact, the was an overall 30 percent drop in traffic congestion in 2011, Bak said. He theorized that unemployment coupled with high gas prices could have played a role in the dip.
As for our fair state, Bak said Connecticut’s position — between New York and the other New England states — could be the reason for our crummy traffic. “Connecticut is a gateway for people traveling through to other places,” he said.
Whatever the reason, Connecticut’s status as a gridlock hotspot didn’t come as news to a lot people. For instance, Liz Glagowski, a Milford resident who works in Stamford, said traffic is a fact of her existence. “I’ve sat in two hours of traffic to go 25 to 30 miles, so I’m not surprised by this at all,” she said.