New 'cutting-edge' Main Street curbs leave many drivers feeling flat

The months-long makeover of Main Street may be easy on the eyes, but that’s not the case for tires on cars parked along the downtown thoroughfare.

The new, sharp-edged curbs lining the sidewalks have punctured numerous tires in recent weeks, as well as gouging many more wheel rims of vehicles parked along the street.

"I would say in the last three months I have witnessed 20-plus cut tires," said Lee Papageorge, owner of Oscar’s Deli on Main Street. "I’m not exaggerating."

Police, too, have been made aware of flat-tire problems spotted by their downtown traffic agents.

"The problem, in my opinion, is the street is not finished," Papageorge said.

He pointed out that not only are the curb edges sharp — and now scuffed by black rubber streaks left by tires - but what is known as the "curb reveal" is wider than it should be, a factor that has accelerated the number of tire scrapes and punctures.

"They’re coming in for a landing," Papageorge said of the drivers who, instead of backing into spaces, move forward into a spot, turning the wheel directly into the sharp curbs.

"They see a spot and it’s so valuable … Some people should just remember that they’re drivers, not pilots," he said.

The good news, however, is that, according to one source, the problem is scheduled to be addressed over the next couple of months, when the street will be milled and the curb reveal shortened.

This, however, will come too late for drivers who have already had to call for AAA or fetch the jack out of the trunk to fix a flat, including Robert Tupper of Wilton.

"It’s kind of a depressing start to the day," Tupper said after puncturing a tire on a recent afternoon.

"He was backing into the parking spot and it just shredded it," noted Damien Nelson, his friend visiting from Sugarland, Texas.

"It felt like it was stuck," said Tupper, noting the flat was probably his fault for pulling in too close to the curb.

"It seems like they can just come along with a saw and bevel the edge and it’ll be better," Nelson said.

"You knew what your article title should be?" he said. "The sidewalks are new, but the curbs are cutting edge."