Issues Involving Arrigoni Bridge, St. John Square, Main Street, & Spring Street

While the project to repair and replace the approach ramps and sidewalks of the Arrigoni Bridge is underway, controversy about the work continues to swirl. Apparently, CT DOT’s original plan was approved by the previous Middletown administration with no public hearing or citizen comment. The stated goal of the project, according to CT DOT, was to improve the efficiency of Main Street between Washington and Hartford Ave. and the entrances to Route 9 and the Arrigoni Bridge. DOT’s interest in reducing congestion in this area is probably related to future plans to remove traffic signals from Route 9, which will involve some changed traffic patterns in the downtown area, especially near the bridge. Here are some of the issues and concerns surrounding the project. Continue reading

Replace Our Trees — Time For Action

The Jonah Center’s campaign to add at least $50,000 to the City of Middletown’s tree planting budget has been successful so far. The Mayor’s proposed budget includes this additional funding. Now this proposed budget is under consideration by the Common Council. Majority Leader and the Chair of Public Works Commission, Gene Nocera, and Minority Leader Phil Pessina are both in favor of an increase of $70,000 for tree planting. This higher amount would enable the city to begin recovery from accumulated tree loss over multiple recent years, whereas the lower amount would allow for planting to compensate for tree loss in a single year. Whatever the final figure, we are delighted that Middletown’s elected leaders recognize the importance of reversing the loss of approximately 100 trees each year.

Now, we need to reinforce this proposal to all members of the Common Council. You may email them all via one message send to Council@MiddletownCT.gov . Below is a sample message.

I very much support the Jonah Center’s initiative to reverse the loss of trees in our community due to climate change, pests, and drought. I am encouraged by the addition of $50,000 to the Mayor’s budget for tree replanting to compensate for annual tree loss. I am writing now to support the initiative of Majority Leader Gene Nocera and Minority Leader Phil Pessina to increase the tree planting budget by $70,000 over last year’s budget. This will allow the city to recover from accumulated tree loss over multiple years. Trees are essential to our quality of life and provide many documented benefits, including carbon absorption, air cooling, removal of air pollution, improved physical and mental health, enhanced beauty, increased property values, and reduced crime.

Use the email address Council@MiddletownCT.gov to reach all the members of the Common Council with one message. The email addresses of individual members of the Common Council may be found here: http://www.cityofmiddletown.com/458/Common-Council

Please Bcc: or Cc: John Hall at jhall@thejonahcenter.org  so we know whether our campaign is having an impact.