Study a step forward for the Locust Ave. parking deck
NEW CANAAN — The town’s first decked parking unit may be one step closer to being realized.
Engineers and town officials were on hand at a Tuesday morning meeting of the Board of Selectman to hear the results of a study of the area around the proposed Locust Avenue parking deck, which has been a considerable source of concern in town for people who fear it could worsen traffic conditions downtown.
According to MacBroom, beginning in April when the study was commissioned, his firm worked to establish existing conditions, evaluate the proposed new parking deck and evaluate its potential impact on traffic.
They studied car and pedestrian traffic on Locust Avenue, Heritage Hill and Main Street, including the existing Locust Avenue lot, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Despite the addition of 89 spots to the lot, MacBroom acknowledged an impact on traffic patterns. He said it would be negligible and attributed it to separate entrances to the bottom and top deck, pre- and post-rush hour use and the addition of a ramp and beams that would cut into lower level parking spots.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi added that, because the top deck would be reserved primarily for Town Hall employees that would be parked during working hours, there would not be a steady flow of traffic from the second floor onto Locust Avenue.
MacBroom also said the study included a look at three distinct sight lines from the existing entrance — exiting the lot onto Heritage Hill, coming down Heritage Hill to make a left into the lot and coming up Heritage Hill to take a left into the lot — to ensure that cars and pedestrians could travel safely.
Traffic conditions aside, chief among Selectman Nick Williams’ concerns were the aesthetics of the potential structure.
“I can’t overemphasize the importance of appearance,” Williams told Goldman, whose firm will design the structure.
Goldman said they were looking primarily at an all-concrete design.
“We realize it’s the first parking deck in town and we want to make sure it’s acceptable,” he added.
Now that the schematic design has been approved, Desman Design Management will begin work on architectural drawings, the first of which, Goldman said, should be available for town government review in a few months.