Drivers Adapting to Bank Street Changes in New London

It's been a week since Bank Street in New London got a makeover.

From Tilley Street to State Street, the city temporarily reduced Bank Street to one lane, added buffers to the parking spaces – to hopefully give drivers more space to park and get out of their cars – and made it more bike friendly.

"I have a three-year-old son and it used to be like a game of Frogger trying to get out of your truck with your kid out of a baby seat. So now it's much easier. It's easier for my customers to cross the street,” Rod Cornish, owner of Hot Rod Cafe on Bank Street, said. 

Cornish was initially skeptical when he heard the plans, but said he’s remaining cautiously optimistic.

"Except at rush hour, it seems to get backed up pretty badly. I think some people are avoiding Bank Street and they're using a lot of side streets, creating different traffic," Cornish said.

"It's going to be a little bit, but I do think it's going to improve businesses,” Eli Shaschauer, of New London Ink, said about the road changes. "I think that it will avoid any through traffic so the people that are just trying to get to (I-95) and get out of town, it's going to eliminate that."

Despite the speed bumps that come with change, parallel parking is easier and there are already more bikers on the road, Shaschauer said.

"It actually has slowed people down quite a bit, which I think is great," Shaschauer said.

People who travel Bank Street said the same.

"It's better for that. Getting out the car and parking and stuff like that,” Chanelle Lumpkin, of New London, said. 

"I just notice that there's more traffic flowing down here, so I think it's great for New London," Elizabeth Hodge, of Waterford, said.

All of these changes are just a test. It'll be in effect for 90 days and if it works out, it could last longer.

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