Worried about “clowns flying down” a small, one-way dirt road that runs between Summit Street and Terryville near the Barnes Memorial Chapel, neighbors are seeking the city’s permission to close off the century-old byway.
And they’re likely to get it.
Eight years ago, some of the neighbors along Pine View Street asked the city to shut off access to the tiny road. Attorneys said at the time that it couldn’t do it because the property didn’t belong to the city.
This time around, neighbors intend to close off access themselves.
“You don’t have a problem here,” city Councilor Mike Rimcoski told two residents who came to a recent city meeting to find out if they could shut down the passageway.
The street was laid out by Seth Barnes in 1889, according to research by Jeff Steeg, an assistant city attorney, with the intention of creating “an open public passway.”
But the street falls well short of city standards today and was never accepted as a municipal road in the past, Steeg said.
Steeg said the city has no need for the street and has never used it.“We don’t do anything with it,” Steeg said.
As a result, Pine View Street’s fate is up to the abutting property owners, who appear to agree that the best thing that could be done with the private road is to put some kind of wall or gate across it so that people can’t cut through any longer.
Dom Bradigo, one of the neighbors, said people use the street all the time for no good reason.
He said that the road is 5 feet higher than surrounding properties so a speeding vehicle could easily fly off into someone’s yard.
Frank Johnson, another neighbor, who is also chairman of the Bristol Downtown Development Corp., said that residents of the area “just want to stop the traffic that goes through there.”
“There are clowns flying down there,” Johnson said.
He said he wants to make sure that if neighbors block off the road, they won’t have any problems with the city.
City Councilor Frank Nicastro, who heads the Real Estate Committee, said his panel will respond to the request with a letter saying the city doesn’t care if the road is shut off to traffic.
Steeg said that because the city doesn't own any rights on Pine View Street “any action requiring blocking this passway rests with the abutting property owners."
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