New plan offers safety
Designing a plan that will inhibit rowdy elements to disturb the fun, the West Haven Police Department in cooperation with other city agencies has come up with a traffic plan that will make for a safer environment on July 3. The city’s annual fireworks display brings many thousands of people into the shore, with some estimates topping 100,000.
The need for a newer and more comprehensive plan came after gangs of young people caused many problems and resulted in several arrests. This news comes as a relief for many who live in and around the city’s beach areas. Many complained that for the first time they felt unsafe during the fireworks display.
In coming up with the plan, city officials have taken the extraordinary step of closing main arteries in order to inhibit clusters of people, particularly out-of-towners, who made up the bulk of troublemakers last year. The plan calls for the closure of the following after 6 p.m., July 3, and for the following regulations:
Ocean Avenue from South Street to Platt Avenue; Platt Avenue from Ocean Avenue to Educational Way; and Captain Thomas Boulevard from Platt Avenue to Rock Street.
Those who park in the South Street, Dawson Avenue or Sea Bluff beach lots during the day can stay for the fireworks, but they will have to keep their vehicles in the lots until the road is reopened at 11 p.m. Otherwise, they will have to leave the lots before 6 p.m. because of the road closure.
The following regulations will be enforced:
— All bags will be subject to search before entering the beach area.
— No coolers or alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the beach.
— No disorderly or obscene conduct will be tolerated.
— No open fires or cooking will be allowed on the beach.
For many decades the city has played host to many thousands of people looking to enjoy the beach and the fireworks. Unfortunately, there are individuals and groups that seem to be unable to comport themselves in the manner of a guest.
This new plan seems very well suited to the needs of the area residents. It will allow for a safe, fun time for those looking to celebrate the nation’s founding. It should, likewise, inhibit those elements that desire to make trouble rather than have fun.
We commend the city, and particularly the WHPD, for its getting out in front of this issue and letting people know the new plan well in advance of the holiday. We await the analysis of the date following July 3 to see if further restrictions are needed.
Savin Rock Fest in ’20
We note that Mayor Nancy Rossi has announced tentative plans to recommit to the Savin Rock Festival in the summer of 2020. The announcement came this week, she hopes the festival, which was canceled last year, and will not reappear this year, will get the necessary approvals, and once again grace the shorefront’s Old Grove Park.
The city’s financial situation prompted the cancelation last year, and the current situation seems to preclude it as well. The city is in the midst of registering its first two budget surpluses in many years, and its restoration under the Five-Year Plan seems to be going along as planned.
The Savin Rock Festival was and is a great way for this city to celebrate the many components that make it what it is ethnically, culturally and organizationally. We hope the festival will be able to return next summer. It will be a sure sign the city is getting back on its feet.