Stonington approves one-way traffic plan for downtown Mystic

Mystic — Despite some neighborhood opposition, the Stonington Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to make Cottrell Street one-way in a southerly direction from Route 1 to the intersection of Washington and Willow streets.

The plan, which will not go into effect until next spring, will create 13 additional parking spots on Cottrell and Washington streets and is designed to improve traffic safety at the intersection of East Main and Cottrell streets.

The board made the change to partially address a longstanding parking shortage in the downtown, especially in the summer.

Opponents had urged the commissioners to wait to make any change until it could undertake a comprehensive parking and traffic study of Mystic in cooperation with the Town of Groton.

Obtaining funding and completing the study could take an extended period of time.

Board Chairman Henri Gourd stressed that the one-way change could provide some near-term relief of the parking shortage while the town works with Groton on a broad-based solution.

“We’ve been talking about this for 10 years and kicking the can down the road,” he said. “We have a solution we can do today.”

He and other commissioners agreed to make the change on a provisional basis. They said changes could be made, if necessary.

Last month, the commissioners voted to authorize police Chief J. Darren Stewart to include two items in the town’s 2020-21 capital improvement budget: more sidewalks along Washington Street to improve pedestrian safety and $25,000 to help fund the comprehensive traffic and parking study.

The board on Thursday tabled a decision on a neighborhood request to make Stanton Place, which runs between Cottrell and Willow streets, one way, until commissioners can visit the area.

j.wojtas@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version describes the Stanton Place proposal.

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