New Haven Looking to Change "Directions" - NBC Connecticut

New Haven Looking to Change "Directions"



    New Haven is infamous for its one-way streets, but the city is looking to make some of them two-way streets. City officials said this its not only about convenience, but also about safety. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    New Haven is looking to add more "two-way" streets.

    But it's not just about convenience for drivers. The city says it's also about safety

    Transportation officials tell us public safety is number one. They want to ensure police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances can respond safely to emergencies.

    That's something officials argue would happen if a street like Church is two ways.

    "I think that's what the sirens are for, to get people around," said Professor Jonathan Holloway, chair of the African-American Studies Department at Yale University.

    Some feel New Haven streets are passable for emergency responders just the way they are and that converting a street like Elm to is unnecessary

    "It is confusing though for first timers in this city I know that much. I don't know if we need to speed up traffic in New Haven it seems to move okay. It's a small town," Holloway added.

    Some though see the value of a two-way street

    "If I'm driving down here and I miss my turn I got to go all the way back around because of the one way streets," said Nick Okano, a senior at Yale.

    Transportation officials have been studying one-way streets and determining whether they'd make more sense as two-ways.

    "The goal is simple. It's mobility," said Doug Hausladen, director of transportation and parking for New Haven.

    He says mobility is most important for the New Haven police and fire departments.

    "Public safety is the first issue at hand. We cannot do anything without having a safe travel pattern

    The plan would turn parts of Church, Elm and Temple Streets into two ways to improve traffic but ultimately the goal is centered on first responders."

    "We have to make sure that everything we do does not increase any time for emergency services," Hausladen added.

    Emergency officials told NBC Connecticut Wednesday night it was too early for comment on this plan. A final report on this study is coming out next month.