Route 4 Low-Down: Governor Shumlin Meets Friday With Hartford & Woodstock Public Safety

We have heard from Woodstock Municipal Manager Phil Swanson and Woodstock Emergency Services Manager L.D. Sutherland, Jr. that Swanson has been invited to a private meeting with Governor Peter Shumlin tomorrow along with Hartford Police, Fire and Emergency Officials.

The meeting, which is to take place at the Hartford Emergency Services Station, has apparently been organized by Quechee Sen. John Campbell, with Woodstock’s Rep. Alison Clarkson.

The goal is to talk with the Governor about a recent rash of fatal and near-fatal accidents on Route 4 spanning from Interstate 89, Quechee, Taftsville to Woodstock all the way Bridgewater.

It’s not known if the Governor will be coming to Hartford Public Safety with concrete details (and/or money?) to fix Rt. 4’s narrow shoulders, deep divots, lack of lines and multi-changing speed limits or whether he will make some other announcement.

When we spoke with Fire Chief Sutherland today, who has since clarified he was not specifically invited and doesn’t need to go to the meeting, he said he hoped the Governor’s visit wasn’t just talk and politics.

Sutherland, not mincing too many words, said he doesn’t care what the talk is about, he just wants action, which to him means making immediate improvements, getting Rt. 4 fixed sooner than later, “Get it done!”

“You know, ” he added, “We may have lost two more people today – they have serious injuries.”

Sutherland’s reference was to this morning’s two-vehicle accident near the Quechee Mobil station in which both drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles. Hartford Police reported both women transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with one listed in critical condition.

5 responses to this post.

  1. We need to strictly enforce speed limits along 4 in Hartford. Two months of HPD giving tickets for doing 46 in a 45 zone, the same way Woodstock enforces through the village, and all the locals will start driving in fear of getting a ticket there the same way we all do in Woodstock village. I’ve been pushing for this for the past few weeks on the Selectboard in Hartford. We have to do it. Yes, the road is lousy. But strict adherence to the speed limits has become necessary. There is just no other answer that will help as much as quickly. Basically I want to see either an HPD or VSP patrol car on the stretch from the Quechee Mobil to Route 12 24/7 until Labor Day.


  2. Will you ask them to bring along the line-painting truck? We could make a major safety improvement in just a few hours.


  3. Posted by Careen on June 7, 2013 at 08:45

    I would like a big magnet that I can put on the back of my car that says ” i drive the speed limit! ” ( I would also like a magnet that says get off my butt but I don’t need to be a trouble maker…). It could also say that 4 2 4 is enough (4 deaths on rte 4 in how long ?). I also think every single pull -off on the road should be marked “use your cell phone here !” with HUGE signs . One more thing -We should have a hotline we can call that has access to VSP when someone is driving dangerously- put signs up that provide a number to cal (maybe 424??) . I drive Rte 4 everyday and we need to come up with solutions for this corridor . These are my suggestions.


  4. Posted by Paula on June 9, 2013 at 13:57

    In thinking about Route 4, I also think the center line and sides should have the reflectors put in. Help guide people along the very dark road it can be. Driving to Lebanon yesterday there really is no center line as it has worn away. I think this should be done all the way to Killington. Don is correct that fatalities have also been WEST of the village, Five fatalities that come to mind. Last slow down and FOCUS on the road and your driving…Let’s get it done YESTERDAY!


    • Great ideas, but at some point they should be communicated directly in emails or letters to those who can make it happen: Swanson, Clarkson, Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Planning Commission and VTrans.

      Comments here are good but we doubt anyone will take any concrete action based on what they read here. WEB


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