Friday, October 17, 2008

Making Spring St., Off Bedford, Two Ways?

Starting Nov.5, Spring St. will be two ways! I know that sounds boring, but since I always drive on that road to go to Capriccio or the Avon, it will affect me. (See Advocate article before it disappears in 2 weeks.)

Spring St goes between Bedford (one way north) and Summer (one way south) right at Capriccio and Chez Jean-Pierre. On Spring, there are 2 parking lots reserved for patrons of Bennett’s steak and some of the smaller stores on Bedford such as the chocolate and glass store. Those storeowners feel that if Spring becomes two way, people will have easier access to their lots. Since the on-street parking on Bedford is usually full, their patrons will be able to go left on Spring, rather than having to go all the way up to North St to come back down Summer to turn left onto Spring.

At first I thought this idea was dumb. I think it's fine the way it is; who really makes a one-stop trip to buy chocolate or glass? I usually do those things after eating at Capriccio, and I’m not sure those stores want people parking for hours in the lot. Plus, we’re going to lose 7-8 super-convenient parking spots on Spring right across from Capriccio.

But now I think, who cares?

A commenter on Topix said it best: Making Spring St. two way may be a good idea, or it may be a bad idea. It's pretty simple to implement, and pretty simple to reverse if it turns out poorly. Many times I have been bothered by having to go up to North St. to turn back to Summer. It's worth a try. If it causes problems, change it back.

Man, that is so reasonable. I love it. It will cost the city $10-15,000 to make the change, but other than that, I don’t really see any problem with the plan. There's cool stuff at the glass store-- like the amaaaaaaazing bracelets I wrote about last winter-- and a two-way Spring will make it easier for out of town glass-buyers to find decent parking. I’m only worried that if Spring is used a lot, traffic might back up onto Bedford or Summer, but what the heck. We’ll see how it goes.

Related Stamford Talk posts:
--Sept 2007-- Schakolad Means Chocolate
--Feb 2008--Beautiful Bracelets I'll Never Wear (because even size small was too big on me- this still saddens me because I love those bracelets)


Julie said...

LOVE the chocolate place. This will be an interesting experiment. We never use Spring Street because we always miss it somehow and end up going down to Broad (is it Broad - I am really bad w/street names).

Greg said...

I continue to boycott the chocolate place due to poor customer service.

Chris Preovolos said...

Well, at least that intersection won't confuse me so much anymore. Having been licensed as a driver in another state where turning left from a one-way to a one-way was perfectly legal, I always did it at this corner...until a Stamford cop informed me this was not OK in Connecticut.

And Greg, I haven't actually been in that shop but you aren't the first person I've heard this from.

Jonathan "JR" said...

I think this is a good idea, but I just don't get how it's going to work because Spring Street is so freakin' narrow! Also, will the French place lose some of its sidewalk space? That would suck for them.

Anonymous said...

Too bad, there are one or two prime meter spots there that most people miss.

Leave it to Stamford to think this is the solution to all their traffic problems. I bet its part of a master plan to build a[nother] parking garage there. What of the rumor that Bennets is closing? Maybe its something to do with whatever is going in there (a bank perhaps? lol)

And to Chris:
The whole idea that turning left at a red light is a good idea in Stamford where people turn right on red into heavy traffic without the obligatory stop before turning is just silly. It would be one more instance where we'd have to be extra vigilent for people who think 'Right' isnt a directional term but an entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've bought teacher gifts at the chocolate place a couple of times, but the service can be really subpar or fine depending on who's there when you visit.

Chris Preovolos said...

Yeah, I don't necessarily think it is a good idea either, I'm just saying I didn't realize it was illegal in CT until recently. And, obviously, I meant on red, which I omitted.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the Glass guy on the Judge Marilyn Milian show? She was busting on him about his gift of gab (if you've ever spoken to him, you'll get it).
Anyways, he sued some local overnight delivery depot place (which they didn't identify, other than he found him in the yellow pages) for shipping a glass piece for him for which he bought insurance - the piece broke and the mail place wouldn't honor the insurance claim (something like that). Anyways Glass guy won! :)

I ran into him standing outside his shop the day after I saw it on TV, and asked him who the bad mail guy was and he pointed over towards the Broad/Atlantic Streets area, he told me the name of the place but I forgot.

I gotta say the Judge is right, he is a very very verbose man ;)

JT said...

these stores are nuts if they think easier access to the the tiny cramped lot behind them off Spring is going to double their business. i don't understand why people just don't use the bedford garage.

and I going to stick up for the chocolate place. they are great people. i'm not buying tons of fancy chocolate though.

Anonymous said...

Business will only improve when they make downtown more pedestrian friendly. Not car friendly.
And how about a bike lane or 2 if they're going to be spending money on traffic changes?

J from CT said...

Bad idea for a few reasons:

1) Traffic going up Bedford St. is slow enough with people braking down to a near hover as they try and get a spot on Bedford. Now it will come to a complete stop more often as drivers have to wait for pedestrians to cross the walkway before they turn onto Spring. This will carry back and effect Broad St. and beyond, especially during rush hour, and it will only get worse if and when the empty stores get filled.

2) People who tend to vulturize for a parking space will be more inclined to do so if they don't have to go up to North St. before turning. I want them to drive the extra distance if it's too much effort to park in the lot behind the Bedford Passage.

3) Right now the light at Spring and Summer is a slight annoyance, but is very brief the rare times I get caught at it. Now traffic going down Spring will result in that light turning red more for Summer St and staying that way longer. And that's what Summer St. needs - another light to wait at.

I'd have no problem with Spring St. being made two-ways... if they'd build a multi level lot across the street from Bennett's - which would only needed if the one behind Bedford Passage becomes consistently filled (crappy as it is in its current state).

Right now, IMHO, the plan will not result in more business for any stores there, but will result in a slowdown up to the Avon Theater.

Stamford Talk said...

J from CT, I don't understand #2, but # 1 and #3 were exactly what I was worried about. You explained it far more clearly than I could have. Thanks!

J from CT said...

Thanks, Stamford Talk!

For #2, I am referring to the drivers who prefer to endlessly circle for a parking space they can swoop down upon rather than just parking a little farther away, getting it over with, and going about their business. This practice is most common in big parking lots, and, when I used to go to the mall, I'd see an example of it just about every time. Funny thing is, as I'd take a space farther away and walk to the entrance I'd often see the same car(s) circling for a spot. I still see it when I stop and shop at Stop and Shop in Ridgeway, and when I head up to WalMart and Home Depot in Norwalk.

The Bedford/Spring/Summer loop isn't a great example - but drivers will still do it. (I guess this should have been #3 rather than #2. I didn't list in order of importance, just what popped into my head as I was typing.)

Drivers who do that will now be able to turn down Spring so they can circle around easier and try again for a space in the 0-218 row of Bedford. I'd prefer that those who do this have to go up to North St. to make that parking tactic less appealing.

And I've now thought of another negative result of the change, relating to my #1 comment. Although this won't have an effect until warmer weather returns, more cars having to wait before turning onto Spring will make a less pleasant experience for those who like to eat outside at Capriccio, Lucky's, etc. It's noisy enough and the faint fragrance of the traffic's exhaust is plenty right now. I can only imagine how the increased fumes from idling vehicles will impact the al fresco dining experience.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think this is waste of time as well, but then again, I was against it when they made Spring Street 1-way.