Growing concern about safety in school zone in Middletown prompts action on the street


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A growing level of concern about safety in a school zone in Middletown has prompted action. Spring Street, used by many as a cut-through, has been turned into a mostly one-way road.

“If you’re coming off Rt. 9 or the Arrigoni Bridge coming from Main Street, you’re no longer going to be able to use Spring Street to cut through up to Rt. 3, Washington Street, that sort of thing,” explained Mayor Ben Florsheim, of Middletown, Tuesday.

Mayor Florsheim said the idea for this change came from residents who were concerned about speeding and a high volume of traffic in a school zone.

Macdonough Elementary, which is on Spring Street, has the highest number of students in the district who walk to school. The hope is to make this area safer for them as well as everyone who lives nearby.

“We’re very hopeful is going to be a success!” said John Hall, executive director for the Jonah Center for Earth & Art and former member of the Complete Streets Committee (CSC).

This decision was made in partnership with the CSC who first flagged these issues years ago.

“It feels fantastic to have our ideas actually be adopted and implemented on the street,” said Hall.

Middletown residents News 8 spoke with had mixed feelings about the change.

“In one way, it’s good because you have less traffic coming in and it’s quiet,” explained David Santos, of Middletown. “But, on the other hand, it’s not good because we don’t have parking.”

Parking was their biggest concern and some wished the city pumped the brakes on the project.

“There were already issues with parking on this whole street and now there’s barely any parking,” said Stacy Hall, of Middletown.

“I had to park a half-mile down the road just to come back to my house!” explained Hunter Hull.

Repainting the lines and adding bike lanes meant fewer spots, but we’re told many had been squeezing in when they weren’t supposed to. Mayor Florsheim said they’re looking to acquire a parcel of land on Rome Avenue to turn it into off-street parking for residents.

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