I just left a meeting with DOT following last Thursday’s public hearing regarding the proposed changes to Route 9.
I have read the many letters I’ve received from the public and listened to comments made at the hearing. I told DOT this morning that the City of Middletown will not support the plan as it exists and that a new plan will be required before any changes can move forward.
To their credit, DOT was already thinking the same way based upon the feedback they had received from the public both at the hearing and in writing.
Therefore, the most recently proposed plan for the removal of lights on Route 9 will not go forward.
We discussed with DOT some interim measures that they can take to alleviate existing cut-through traffic in the North End, the improvement of St. John’s Square and the opening of Bridge and Miller streets. They assured us that they will look into making those improvements as soon as possible. I also asked them to preserve as part of any future plan the construction of a pedestrian plaza over Route 9. They agreed.
To be clear, doing nothing is not an option. Leaving things the way they are with no changes will create in the next 20 years backups from downtown Middletown to I-91. Doing nothing will have a greater negative impact on the people of Middletown than on anyone else in Connecticut.
DOT will be back to solicit ideas from the public in the course of developing their next concept.
I encourage you, as I did with the last two proposals, to share your ideas with them.