It has been years in the making, and now a section of New Haven’s Whalley Avenue is finally taking shape and some feel it could be a boom for business.
Trying to cross busy Whalley Avenue in New Haven’s Westville Village is not easy.
But those who live and work around here, said they feel a plan to slow traffic down will not only improve safety, but also boost the entire neighborhood.
"I can see everything right here that speeds by. The merging traffic. I see it all go on,” said Chris Gaudreau, who owns the Racquet Koop on Whalley Avenue and said he saw a woman get hit by a car while crossing the street. "People speed through this area pretty quick. Once they get close to making the light, skip through yellows and sometimes the reds."
The city is holding a public hearing on Tuesday evening regarding the improvements planned for Whalley Avenue as it enters the Westville village.
The plan, stretching from Harrison Street to West Park Avenue, includes raised medians and plantings, lighting and crosswalks.
More than 25,000 cars pass through the area each day, and the idea is to make it more of a ‘Main Street’ and less of a highway.
"It’s really dangerous. It’s like crossing I-95,” said John Cavaliere, who owns Lyric Hall.
A few years ago, Cavaliere testified before the state about a need to slow down traffic in the village.
At the time, state legislators pushed and the city received more than $400,000 in bonding for the work, designed not only to slow cars down but also to help boost economic development in the village.
"People need to stop and see what we have. All these galleries, shops, small business owners,” Cavaliere said.
"We have a lot of pedestrians here. The crosswalks are constantly being used, so yeah anything to slow things down a little bit, would help for sure,” Gaudreau said.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
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