Controversial Fence to Come Down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    People in Hamden lost their fight to keep a controversial fence. The Woodin street fence has separated Hamden from a New Haven housing complex for decades. (Published Sunday, May 11, 2014)

    People in Hamden lost their fight to keep a controversial fence Monday night.  The Woodin Street fence has separated Hamden from a New Haven housing complex for decades. But it's coming down today.

    The New Haven Housing Authority will start tearing it down. It was determined that it legally belongs to them but it's one people on the Hamden side would like to keep standing

    "To us it was a boundary. One side is Hamden. One side is New Haven," said Miriam Massey and it's boundary she and her husband would like to keep. Their house abuts the fence on Thorpe Drive. "We've been here close to 50 years and there's always been a fence."

    But after 50 years this fence will be no more as Hamden officials sent a letter to residents advising them of what was happening. But the letter didn't ease their concerns.

    "There have been a lot of robberies, a lot of drugs, people coming over the fence area so it's a lot easier to keep it that way," said Sean Gatison of Hamden.

    Joan Howell of Hamden agreed. "Yes I want the fence to stay up it's about safety and security and traffic and we don't want all that traffic coming from Southern and housing complexes dumping into Woodin Street

    These people sounded off to Hamden's Town Council but even the president says there's nothing they can do since the US Attorney's Office determined that the fence is built on property owned by the New Haven Housing Authority

    "Right now there's only one way into community and one way out so what this will do," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

    Traffic was the main reason officials want to take the fence down. As for worries about crime Hamden is launching an expanded bike patrol. In addition there will be a police substation built in the area.

    Some don't feel that would be a deterrent. Others in New Haven would love to see the fence torn down.

    "Violence happens everywhere," said Anaedrea Douglas, "There's not a fence that can stop violence from happening. You don't know what good could come from knocking down the fence."

    There will also be traffic calming additions to the road ans sidewalk improvements to help Woodin Street's overall safety. Hamden and New Haven officials emphasize they will not tolerate any problems once this fence comes down.