Traffic study in store for Locus Ave. parking structure
The study will be conducted by engineering consultants Milone and MacBroom.
Senior Engineer in the Department of Public Works Joe Zagarenski was on hand to address the Selectmen and explained that the study at the proposed entrance to the parking deck that would exist on the Heritage Hill Road side of the structure. The two-tiered design would provide primarily town employee and permit parking on its top level and the bottom would remain open to shoppers, diners or whatever other transient visitors come to town. Separate entrances would exist on Heritage Hill Road and Locust Avenue.
For some, the prospect of a parking structure and the possible increase in traffic it could bring are worrisome.
“I know there’s been a lot of concern from the Heritage Hill residents about the idea of a parking lot so I think it’s good to have a concrete study done,” Selectwoman Beth Jones said.
Zagarenski assured the board that a public forum would be held before building ever started.
The study will be the first since 2005-06, said First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, and will attempt to rectify some of the original survey’s inefficiencies, specifically by measuring traffic during months when the town’s roads are busiest — May, June, September or October — as opposed to the placid summer months during which the original was performed.
Zaragenski said the study could begin as soon as May.
Prior to the approval of this study the Locust Avenue project had been shelved for nearly two and a half years.
“We put it on hold for a little while we were working on the Town Hall and we’ve started reinvigorating the conversation,” Mallozzi said. “We’re off to the races, this is a good start.”
Mallozzi also cited some of the work Milone and MacBroom has done in Norwalk, complementing the aesthetics of parking garages built by the firm and calling them, “open and airy without being open and airy.”
“We don’t want a parking garage,” responded Selectman Nick Williams. “I mean, it’s not just nomenclature, we really want the thing to look like New Canaan.”