By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
In its first meeting since August, the Bristol Development Authority Downtown Committee approved a plan to add additional parking spaces downtown.
City Engineer Raymond Rogozinski said an additional 38 parallel, on-street parking spaces would be added to the stretch of Riverside Avenue between Main Street and North Main Street These spaces would essentially eliminate the outermost lanes, or, the right turn lanes, on both sides of the road.
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, who admitted the importance of having additional parking downtown, said the city needs to “very careful and balance what we think is integral to this project,” as there are at least two State Department of Transportation projects the city is planning; replacing the bridge at the foot of Memorial Boulevard, and a realignment of Route 72.
“This [project] makes the most sense because from an investment standpoint it’s not over the top, and if the DOT were to come through and connect those two projects, there is a chance that some of this would actually be torn up,” said Zoppo-Sassu.
Zoppo-Sassu said the additional spaces would cost less than $100,000” and Rogozinski said that would cover a combination of “labor and material.”
The additional parking space plan was approved by the Downtown Committee and sent to the Bristol Development Authority board, where it was also approved.