LETTER: Have you been on Greenwich Avenue lately?

Submitted by Louisa Stone, Greenwich

Have you been on Greenwich Avenue lately? I went to Town Hall to discuss the latest plans with the traffic engineers, and one of them said, “It’s a parking lot.”

I found, instead, that it’s a one lane street. Jersey barriers protect outside dining spots from top to bottom. I dodged around double-parked delivery trucks and drivers waiting for parking spaces.

Pedestrians cross safely in mid-block because traffic isn’t moving. And then we have the Elm Street bump outs. I hear that traffic doesn’t move on the side streets either.

The new Town budget calls for more bump outs at the Greenwich Avenue-Arch Street-Havemeyer Place intersection. These won’t be as simple as at Elm Street. The plan is to widen Arch Street, put diagonal parking on the east side, pave part of the lawn in front of the World War I statue of Col. Bolling, extend the triangle in front of the old Post Office to end opposite Starbucks, and put five crosswalks where we now have three. This is all in the name of Safety.

The RTM budget meeting was hybrid: in person and by Zoom. Speakers had two minutes, and debate was cut off after an hour. At 11:00 pm the vote was close: 111-95 to fund the plan.

Fortunately, the Planning and Zoning Commission will have more time to study and approve the final plan. They are guided by the Plan of Conservation and Development, which emphasizes preserving community character, including historic preservation, sustaining and improving our natural environment and landscape, and maintaining thriving commercial centers. The bump out plan is in the center of the Greenwich Municipal Center Historic District and our main commercial center.

P&Z has many challenging problems to solve and may not get to this for a while. Stay tuned.