P&Z – May 24, 2016

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My name is Julie Hulten.  North Haven, CT

While I am on the Board of the Sleeping Giant Park Association, I am speaking tonight as an individual who avidly hikes Sleeping Giant State Park and takes advantage of the special quality of the Giant experience. I submit two items for your consideration.

Traffic report – interested parties who understand the ins and outs of this type of report have suggested the following:

  • The report is focused on traffic at intersections and does not estimate some important consequences of stadium traffic on Mt. Carmel and Hogan Rds.
  • Sleeping Giant State Park usage and visitor generated traffic is heavy throughout the week and throughout the year, but especially on weekends and in the fall and spring. It is likely that stadium usage and peak park usage would coincide. The increased traffic would not only cause delays, but would also be a hazard to both vehicles and pedestrians going to and from the park.
  • There are several pull off parking opportunities along Mt. Carmel Avenue.  The traffic report shows that 35% of the stadium traffic will be from the east along Mt. Carmel Avenue, which is narrow and winding. The increased traffic will present a hazard to the vehicles using these roadside pull-outs and also to the hikers that use trails that have access from this portion of the road.
  • The report does not consider traffic on Hogan Rd! Visitors using Google maps or other similar apps are primarily directed via Mansfield and Hogan Road not only from the north, but also from NYC and NJ.
  • Also, those traveling to games from the North Haven campus would be traveling the shortest route; this would be via Mansfield/Hogan Rd.  Hogan Road is a designated scenic road that is very narrow where one car must pull over and stop to let the other pass.
  • The impact of increased traffic should be thoroughly considered during deliberations.

The quality of the Sleeping Giant Park experience:

In our increasingly complex and tumultuous society, there is concerted effort being made to address mental health concerns and promote mental health awareness. This very important issue has been examined by many and studies have shown that being out in Nature clears your head, spurs creativity, improves your mood, lowers stress, is good for your heart, improves your immune system, and make you feel good.

Sleeping Giant State Park, directly across the street from the proposed stadia, provides just such a space. Anecdotes abound in which individuals have stated that hiking the Giant in perceived solitude and actual quiet has kept them from suicide and/or violent acts, helped them overcome personal distress and/or PTSD, given them the space to work through personal issues, and generally supported spiritual growth.

One would not propose to build a sports complex of this magnitude and impact next to a hospital, a monastery, or a church. For those of us to whom the Giant is such a special place, this is essentially what is proposed.

Please deny this application and let the Giant sleep!