We Want Public Input on Reservoir Neighborhood Road Changes!
On November 30th, an email was sent to Reservoir Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) members informing us of a one way street conversion set to take place within the next two weeks. When NRZ leadership asked how this was taking place without a public hearing, they were informed the process had already been approved by council resolution and it had been referred to the Police Commission and by its Board and the Fire Marshall. One-way signs were installed the week of December 9th.
What has become clear in subsequent days is that residents, local businesses, and community organizations impacted by this decision and street change were neither informed of nor invited to comment in a public hearing because such public hearing did not take place.
A traffic study conducted by the Bridgeport Engineering Department advised on June 28, 2018 against this change. It states, "converting Yaremich Drive to a one-way operation will increase vehicle speeds along Yaremich drive and will increase volume of traffic along Soundview Avenue." The decision to deny the one-way was approved and then it was overruled. Local leadership insisted residents knew of the changes and demanded them anyway. These signs will impact the residents of Soundview and Yaremich Avenues, where the traffic for those seeking farm or healthcare services will be diverted by an extra, and significantly confusing, half mile drive (please see map).
Hundreds of patients visiting Bridgeport Family Health each week and the minimum 3,000 passenger vehicles, school busses, maintenance vehicles, and passenger vans trips that deliver schoolchildren, mentally disabled, senior, teenage, and young visitors, community gardeners, and staff to Reservoir Community Farm each season will be asked to wind through Soundview and Yaremich rather than directly accessing parking lots seen from Reservoir Avenue.
Aside from the hassle that this new traffic will cause for patients, visitors and residents alike, there is the added fear that those least likely to understand the new road changes - the elderly, sick, or those have small children in the car, will park on City View or Reservoir Avenue and cross at the busy and dangerous intersection there to most easily access the local doctor's office and the farm, causing a concerning safety issue.
We carry the utmost concern for safety in the Reservoir neighborhood. We understand how unsafe driving can endanger those we love and make the neighborhood we work in and care about unsafe and want to help find solutions to help solve these issues. But decisions should not happen behind closed doors and without consulting the residents, businesses, and community groups who spend their energy and love in this neighborhood. The traffic study conducted by the City of Bridgeport's Engineering Deprtament should not be ignored and residents' views should not be falsely represented to Boards and Commissions of our City.
Green Village Initiative (GVI), Bridgeport Family Health, and the Reservoir Area residents would deeply appreciate the time to work with council people and city workers to identify and employ an alternate plan for making our streets safer that does not endanger those seeking to visit the farm, doctor's office, or their own homes, and does not conclude with the unnecessary wear, sound pollution, and traffic that Soundview Avenue will incur as a result of this abrupt traffic change.
We ask that the signs be removed so that alternate plans and public hearing may take place that include the results of the June 28th traffic study. It is important that all voices are taken into account in equal measure when making decisions for our communities. It is only through transparency that we can make Bridgeport stronger and safer.
***********Please email your city council members letting them know whether you are in favor of the change.
firstname.lastname@example.org / Mary.McBride-Lee@bridgeportct.gov AND copy us at email@example.com so that Your Voice Is Heard & Counted!!!********