Without its signature traffic cops in a circle at busy intersections, unidirectional Greenwich Avenue is undergoing an Associate in Nursing mental state. It’s ne’er extremely been a street anyway. It’s a car parking zone with ambitions.
Tom Keegan and that I square measure perked up on a bench at East Elm Street and Greenwich Avenue on a Gregorian calendar month afternoon that heats enough to impersonate Gregorian calendar month. We’re here to get pleasure from the mealtime performance as cars and pedestrians navigate the foremost illustrious street in Connecticut throughout the Christmas-looking season.
The corner holds that means for America each. I worked for many years at Greenwich Time’s former workplace down the block on Elm, wherever I met my partner. Keegan, 68, was the fourth member of his family to direct Avenue traffic joined of Greenwich’s Finest. it was additionally his playground as a child within the Nineteen Fifties and ’60s, as he grew up at the lowest of the Hill.
We’re following a sequel to what the late Bernie Yudain referred to as his preferred column among the quite half dozen,000 he wrote for UT1.
For all the invaluable on each side of the look windows, Bernie recognized Greenwich’s true answer to snatching the ring from Gollum or the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter.
“Mark this well,” Bernie once wrote. “There is one issue alone that love or cash or political drag cannot buy: a automobile parking space on Greenwich Avenue.”
From our bench, we would yet be co-hosting a fashion show given the unseasonably gossamer materials and blank skin sculpturesque by pedestrians. I reflexively squint many times, not from daylight exploding through the cerulean sky, however as a result of it keeps ricocheting off jewelry stapled to chapeaus.
This additionally looks like a tune-up to the City of Westminster show, given the expensive breeds that sometimes pause to smell at our presence.
I’m left to handle play-by-play, as Keegan is that the color guy. He says things like, “People not drive their cars. They let their cars drive them.”
The pedestrians appear guided by Associate in Nursing invisible GPS yet. a lady and her poodle dog saunter across Elm like she’s Beyonce in an exceeding video wherever the creator has ensured the chaos of rolling Teslas ne’er bit her.
Keegan engages passersby I assumed weren’t tuned in. Given all those years on his feet, I wouldn’t blame Keegan if he stayed on the bench. however, he rises to try to to a broad impression of oblivious pedestrians mesmerized by phones.
A couple strolls by, arm-in-arm like they’re getting ready to bust into a Christmas carol, and joins the chorus.
“Everybody simply walks into traffic …” the person says.
Keegan finishes the lyric, complete with jazz hands: “There might be a fireplace truck coming back.”
At Associate in Nursingother another purpose he warbles a true song as he recollects the lyrics to an early Sixties big apple town public service announcement written by Vic Mizzy, the mastermind behind the themes to “The Addams Family” and “Green Acres.”
“Don’t cross that street within the middle, within the middle, within the middle, within the middle, within the middle of the block.”
The tradition of Greenwich Avenue traffic cops was born in 1927, however reached the stop sign once Fred Camillo was an elective initial elected official in 2019 and at last took the step his predecessors feared. Traffic officers on The Ave are redeployed to an electrical bike patrol and plainclothes roles.
On cue, 2 officers roll up East Elm in a tandem bicycle.
Keegan teases them, sort of a sergeant scolding grunts: “One grenade can get ya each.”
“We’re too fast for that, Tom.”
New corner bump-outs (old tram tracks were unconcealed throughout their installation) create the treacherous trek shorter for walkers. Keegan, World Health Organization is retired and serves on Norwalk’s Common Council, says police captain James Heavey is pondering proposing that signs be denoted at corners reminding walkers to seem up. What’s extremely required is an Associate in the Nursing app that shocks phone addicts once the paseo stops.
Keegan explains that there have been invariably unwritten rules to driving on The Avenue, that were historically the ultimate take a look at towny folks gave teens before taking them to the DMV to urge a license. It’s an honest time to finally write the unwritten rules.
The rule I: If seeking a spot from the left lane, the driving force should park in areas on the left aspect. If driving on the correct, park thereon aspect. No darting across a lane to grab an area.
Rule II: No backing up to urge an automobile parking space.
Rule III: No straddling the center line searching for an area on the left or right. “You gotta choose one,” Keegan says.
Rule IV: “And you ne’er beep your horn,” Keegan concludes. “That’s against the foundations, unless somebody goes to hit you.”
He doesn’t end before somebody beeps, like anxious for him to maneuver the thought on.
If we tend to were broadcasting our play-by-play on the radio, it might sound like Associate in Nursing NPR show with Associate in Nursing close sound recording of honks and high heels delivering a gentle beat that pays tribute to Charlie Watts.
Every automobile approaches the stop just like the start in an exceedingly “Fast & Furious” street race. And nobody walks straight to the cross. They drift to the correct or left to avoid cars, despite their political persuasion. solely the Pomeranians look each way in which.
We collect many opinions, together with an inexpensive suggestion that officers come back to the circles throughout busy times like these. Ultimately, even Keegan concedes our very little exercise proved traffic while not cops is “really not that chaotic.”
When we rise from the bench, we tend to notice it bears a plaque dedicated to the late Harry Keleshian, an area businessperson and property owner.
“I knew Harry,” Keegan says.
Keyshia was, among alternative things, familiar with seeking new ways in which to alleviate traffic within the town’s central downtown. His bench was our good host.
We bid our farewells and head back to our cars in close heaps. solely a shithead, after all, tries to park on Greenwich Avenue.