The City of Ansonia hopes to get a $495,000 grant from the state to gussy up an under-utilized parking lot on West Main Street.
Right now the West Main Street lot is an uninviting sea of old asphalt stretching from the Ansonia Rescue Medical Services all the way to the Ansonia train station.
There are about 185 spaces, but the lot is lucky to see 50 cars at any time Monday through Friday.
The lot isn’t lined. It sprouts weeds in the spring and summer. There are a few potholes. Lighting isn’t the best at night. The side closest to the train station floods a bit during heavy rain. There’s also an old guard shack in at the entrance, making it look like the public can’t park there.
But the public can park there and it’s a one-minute walk to Crave, the popular Main Street restaurant, or Massimino’s, the venerable pizzeria. It’s an even shorter jaunt to Chaser’s, a new bar, or Koi, the new sushi place on Main Street.
Ansonia officials hope to get the grant so the West Main Street lot can be resurfaced, lined, and improved with trees, shrubs and the type of decorative lighting now being installed on Main Street.
The overall goal is to make it an attractive place for people to park so they can, hopefully, visit businesses along Main Street.
The under-utilized parking lot was identified as a place in need of improvement in a 2007 downtown parking plan. Click here to download the plan.
The document, drafted by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, determined that Ansonia’s downtown had an abundance of parking — 1,322 spaces at the time. On-street parking in Ansonia can get busy in front of stores on Main Street, but the study pointed out there was lots of room in the West Main Street lot, an East Main Street lot and a parking lot on Main Street with some 50 spaces.
The trick is — convince people, and perhaps commercial tenants, to use those lots.
Eileen Krugel, the city’s grant writer, submitted Ansonia’s application to the state’s Office of Policy Management’s Main Street Investment Fund last week.
“The goal is to make it safer, more attractive and more useable,” Krugel said. “A lot of people think we’re short on parking, but we do have that huge lot.”