Coronado Plan at an Impasse
By Josh Valone
After suffering several delays, along with resistance from residents staunchly against it, the plan to convert Coronado Avenue to a one-way street has been tabled for at least another year.
The proposal, which calls for Coronado to become a one-way going south with Hamden Drive also being converted to a one-way heading north, has been under discussion since the Spring Break season, but local support has been difficult to come by. This has resulted in a series of delays, the latest of which will maintain the status quo on Coronado and Hamden until at least Spring 2011.
The construction of two new parking garages along Coronado, the impetus for changing it to a one-way street in the first place, will continue as planned. After the garages are complete the city intends to conduct a traffic study before eventually reaching a final decision on the matter. This process, according to City Traffic Engineer Paul Bertels, will take at least one year.
This is a welcome reprieve for concerned residents of the "three fingers", Devon, Brightwater, and Bayside who have been vocal about the issue at City Council meetings, even going so far as to organize a petition against the proposal.
One of the organizers, Denise Tallarida, articulated their position. "It can already be a nightmare to get out of our neighborhood as it is, and this will only compound the problem. It's a safety issue more than anything. If a medical emergency were to happen, god forbid, I can't imagine how we would get out fast enough."
When asked what local residents would ultimately like to see happen on this matter Tallarida explained, "Ideally we'd like the whole idea shelved. But at the very least we just want studies done and safety issues addressed. That's the very least they can do."
With the city deciding not to move forward with anything until the new parking garages are complete both sides will have several months to hone their arguments before renewing the debate later next year. Until then, all is quiet on Coronado and Hamden.
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