City, Western to form White Street task force

DANBURY, CONN. Mayor Mark D. Boughton and Western Connecticut State University President James W. Schmotter today announced the formation of a task force to examine safety issues on White Street.

The city-university task force was created in response to safety concerns along the busy White Street corridor where several accidents have occurred recently, the most serious being the hit-and-run death of WCSU student Dong Lin last Tuesday.

Members will study the issues that vehicular and pedestrian traffic pose and develop potential solutions for improved safety. White Street is a city street that bisects Western’s Midtown campus. Three crosswalks and a pedestrian walkway over White Street connect the two sides of campus.

Members will include, from the city administration: Wayne Shepperd, the mayor’s chief of staff; and City Engineer Farid Khouri; from Western: Dr. Walter Bernstein, vice president of Student Affairs; Paul Reis, vice president of Finance and Administration; and Peter Visentin, director of Planning and Engineering. Steven G. Rosentel, president of Leahy’s Fuels, which is headquartered on White Street, also will join the panel.

“We want the task force to look at how we can make White Street a better place for people who live and work there,” Schmotter said. “This tragedy has reinforced that there must be more we can do together to make White Street safer.”

Boughton said he is eager for the task force to begin meeting.

“All of us are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” Boughton said. “This task force will be an opportunity to examine a very busy thoroughfare that borders the university and will help develop recommendations to improve safety for the WCSU community and for the city of Danbury.”

The committee also will solicit suggestions from residents, who are invited to email either Wayne Shepperd or Walter Bernstein at

In the interim, the city is lending Western a speed sled set up next to the university parking garage to slow down drivers and alert them to the crosswalk. WCSU police are stationed at the crosswalk during the times of busiest garage use to facilitate pedestrian crossings.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.



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