Hope for redevelopment in downtown Derby is running straight into counter-plans to widen a section of the town’s Main Street (Route 34). The current plan, includes widening one section of Main Street to approximately 120 feet, from sidewalk edge, to sidewalk edge. The plan includes two lanes of traffic in each direction, with a center median as well as parking, bike lanes and turning lanes.
Asked for comment, our own president and CEO John Simone said: “The wider the road, the faster the cars go and the less safe it is for pedestrians. If what’s being proposed is a wide road, then it could be inappropriate. I’m speaking without specifics about the actual design.” The post also noted: “Simone said he was surprised that the road widening project came before the downtown redevelopment plan. He said usually a road is designed around the downtown plan, not the other way around. He agreed that the road would affect the type of development in Derby’s future.”
Discussion continues between the town of Derby, the state Department of Transportation and the regional Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. All of whom are trying to balance safety for both drivers and pedestrians with the need for economic development and the vision Derby residents have for their downtown area.