NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new proposal hopes to improve mobility and connectivity in New Haven by converting some one-way streets into two-ways.

“It creates an option for different modes of transportation,” said Sandeep Aysola, the director of transportation, traffic and parking for the City of New Haven. “It creates a choice.”

The plan would impact four corridors in the downtown:  

  • York Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Grove Street. 
  • Chapel Street from Park to College streets. 
  • George Street from York to Church streets. 
  • Church Street from Wall to Grove streets.  

Residents who spoke to News 8 had differing views about if the change would be effective.

“If you can get around safely with two-ways, then it will make it a lot better,” said Christopher Wells, of New Haven. 

Faith Kasor, who works in New Haven, questioned it.

“It would be good to go both ways, but I don’t know if the street is wide enough,” she said.

The plan could also create cleaner air quality. 

“If you have a shorter distance to travel, there’s less emissions,” Aysola said.  

But some New Haven residents are concerned about bike lanes, parking and if they’ll be safe crossing streets.

“I think it’s a good idea, but I think maybe pedestrian safety should come first,” said Sierra Ottilie-Kovelman, of New Haven. 

Aysola said the city is evaluating parking and bike lanes. He said two-way streets force pedestrians and drivers to look both ways. 

“One-way to two-way conversion is the safest option, partly because you see the vehicles in the opposite direction, and you have to be a little bit more cautious in how you operate,” Aysola said. 

The project is still in the early phase and needs public input. 

Aysola said there is no timetable on the plan. It’s expected to cost at least $5 million, which will be mostly covered by state and federal grants.