DIETRICH: In Favor of Bumpouts

Submitted by Irene Dietrich, RTM District 8

Way back, before the Elm Street bump outs became a reality, I too pondered the change to our spectacular Greenwich Avenue believing the police directing traffic somehow promoted the safety of both drivers and pedestrians while adding to its grandeur.  As town wide discussions evolved, I listened, read and researched.  I began to realize the improvement bump outs would make to Greenwich Avenue.  

With the completion of the Elm Street bump outs, I routinely experience a very high level of courtesy, as we all wait our turn to proceed. Pedestrians acknowledge drivers’ presence before proceeding to cross. Drivers are cognizant of walkers. These habits represent one of the core values of Greenwich – civility.  

After the completion of the bump outs on Arch Street, we will achieve ADA compliance.  This change will give all our citizens ready access to the restaurants and stores etc. available on the entire avenue. A huge plus will be the shorter distance people need to walk in the street.

A merchant with a business near Arch Street believes the addition of bump outs as well as twelve new parking spaces on or about the lower part of Greenwich Avenue will increase his business.  Pedestrians will have safer accessibility and there will be increased interest in strolling on all  of our avenue.

There is also a very positive reduction of grab, snatch and run robberies of our high end stores.  This is certainly  due to the additional plain clothes police added as well as the police now riding bikes in order to assist when needed.  If for no other reason, to my mind, it is now a safer place to visit – a place we can all enjoy!

Bump outs improve pedestrian accessibility as well as allowing more efficient use of our police force. It is a fundamental responsibility for us to provide ADA Compliance to all of our citizens. “It is a no brainer!” We will be reimbursed, in total, when the bump outs with the raised walkways are completed, through grants by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. It is a pivotal moment for our citizens –  it is a prelude to the future of Greenwich.  

Irene Dietrich – RTM District 8