Mystic Streetscape Disaster

Mystic Streetscape Disaster

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Back in July 2010, I wrote a letter to the Groton Town Council expressing my concerns, which I have excerpted below. If any of you agree, I would suggest writing the Council directly % the Town Clerk at:

Here is what I wrote on 06/06/12 (today) folowed by what I wrote in July 2010, never expecting how much worse things would actually be for the downtown Mystic business owners. What a mess!

"To the Honorable Mayor Somers, Groton Town Council Members, Town Manager, Town Clerk, 06/06/12

I am sending you a previous E-mail (below) to assist in your review of the Mystic Streetscape problem with the local Mystic merchants. Some of you were not on the Council in July 2010. Without belaboring the obvious, some major mistakes have been made on the Streetscape project. Many of us predicted some of these mistakes...and our predictions were ignored. However, the damage that has now been caused to the downtown Mystic merchants is far worse than I anticipated.

In view of the simplicity of the merchants request...that you cease all construction activity during July and August 2012...I fail to see how you could possibly refuse them. As to long term solutions, such as possible personnel changes in the town Planning Department (where there appears to be an "attitude" problem), I leave that in your hands...for now. Thank you for your time. Ed Johnson "

Originally sent and received by all Council parties on July 16, 2010

"To Members of the Groton Town Council, Town Manager and Town Clerk,

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a copy of a proposed Mystic street diagram which apparently has been approved and assigned to a contractor. This Streetscape project involves narrowing West Main Street to allow more sidewalk space. It also includes the use of "build outs" of the curbs, including some street corners, thus narrowing some sections of West Main Street even more, supposedly for pedestrian safety.

I'm concerned about the congestive space restrictions on large fire apparatus, especially when they turn into side streets with new curb build outs, even if representatives of the local fire companies have not expressed similar concerns. It also appears that we will lose parking spots on West Main Street.

Additionally, when RT 95 is shut down, traffic congestion will most likely be worse than we have now. Being curious on some other items, I made inquiries and found that not everyone in Mystic is pleased with this proposed project. There is also a question about who actually has the authority to push through and approve the Streetscape, because this apparently does not include the local citizen taxpayers of the Mystic area. Public hearings were held previously and citizens voiced concerns about the space restrictions, parking and especially the curb build outs. Winter snowplows would also have problems clearing the uneven street. However, the plans were apparently never changed to address these concerns.

Who approved this Streetscape project and why do the citizen taxpayers of Mystic have no actual vote on such an approval? Why does it appear to me that "Streetscape" is being shoved down the taxpayer's throats?

I would like to remind everyone about a similar situation, on a much smaller scale, which occurred in Noank just a few years ago. "Someone" made a decision to "beautify" the area near Town Dock. This included lighting...four streetlights, to be exact, to replace one older light. This project did not receive any input from people like myself who live less than 150 yards from the Town Dock, but my taxes helped pay for it. On came the lights. One was so bright that it ruined the night view from a neighbor's porch. On orders from the Town Manager, that light was extinguished and has never been lit again. However, the expensive, ornamental light pole useless as to it's intended function.

Do we have to make the same mistake again? On a larger scale?"