The president of the Renaissance City Development Association has requested that the city increase enforcement of short-term parking at the Fort Trumbull peninsula as it advances a planned residential development for the site.
In a letter to Mayor Daryl Finizio, Michael Joplin says the Fort Trumbull Municipal Development Plan did not anticipate the use of daylong on-street parking. He said this has become more frequent on Fort Trumbull streets as employees of Electric Boat, the Coast Guard station, and the offices at 1 Chelsea Street park on the streets.
Joplin is requesting that parking be restricted to two hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Bowditch Street between the “legs” of East Street, on East Street between Walbach Street and Chelsea Street, on the east “leg” of East Street between the Riverwalk and Bowditch Street, and on Walbach Street between East Street and Smith Street. He asks that the parking spaces on these streets be clearly identified as short-term and that the time limit be strictly enforced on an hourly basis.
The RCDA is working to advance the “Village on the Thames,” a planned residential development to establish 99 residential units in 70 Greek Revival and Italianate buildings on four lots at Fort Trumbull. River Bank Construction of Westport is backing the project and expects to break ground prior to March.
Joplin said the RCDA is working with the Transportation Authority to put proper parking procedures into place for the neighborhood. He said the project includes sufficient off-street parking for the residences, so on-street parking will remain available for people visiting the Riverwalk or Fort Trumbull businesses.
“There are still several streets in the Fort Trumbull area which could be used for on-street parking on a longer basis during the workday, including Smith Street and Trumbull Street,” Joplin writes. “Until the parcel adjoining those streets is developed, we do not require limiting Smith and Trumbull Streets to short-term parking at this time.”
Joplin said the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval for the 1 Chelsea Street office building included two-hour on-street parking along the street. He said this is currently not enforced and that most vehicles parked here throughout the day likely belong to workers at the building. He said there is sufficient off-street parking for employees there and that enforcement of the short-term parking will prevent workers from parking throughout the day on the street.
The letter was also copied to Officer Wayne Neff of the New London Police Department’s traffic section; Mark Christiansen, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission; and John Brooks, a Fort Trumbull consultant to the RCDA. The City Council also received the letter for informational purposes on Monday, and the Transportation Committee will discuss the matter in its regular meeting today.
Frank McLaughlin, project manager with RCDA, told the council that the request would have the regulations available so they can be enforced when the neighborhood is developed.
“There’s no need for enforcement at this time,” he said.
Councilor John Maynard said he thought the matter should have been brought to the council earlier. He also said the city needs to make a greater effort to ensure that adequate parking is available for Electric Boat employees.
“I think the city needs to move forward and give them a permanent parking spot,” he said.
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