Toned-down in deference to town aesthetic concerns, a concept for improving Main Street will be aired by state planners before village merchants and landlords \u2014 as well as town officials and the general public \u2014 next week. The gathering is Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 in town hall. It is not a public hearing in the official sense, but rather a feedback session designed to get reactions to plans the state Department of Transportation (DOT) is still developing. \u201cA working group meeting to discuss various conceptual ideas that have been going on for the last several months,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. State planners presented a few different concepts to a meeting of about 30 Main Street \u201cstakeholders\u201d last summer, then went to work with a small committee chosen from the larger group \u2014 seeking an approach that could improve traffic flow, without diminishing the tree-lined charm that Ridgefielders cherish in their Main Street. Outline and listen Charles Robbins, chairman of the smaller committee that worked with the state planners, said engineers want to outline where their plans are now, and listen to reaction. \u201cThe meeting is open to those approximately 30 people, and anyone else that wants to attend,\u201d he said. \u201cWe look forward to community input.\u201d They will then go back to work, and try to come up with a plan that townspeople will like. \u201cOnce that group agrees, which is a good cross-section of the community, that idea will be put into a plan that will be a presentation for a public hearing to the people of Ridgefield,\u201d Marconi said. Presentation parts The state has been revising its plans in collaboration with the smaller committee. Here are some of the major elements that are expected to be part of the presentations next Tuesday: Turning lanes will be added on Main Street to allow the continued flow of through traffic while cars stack up and wait to turn onto side streets. By proposing narrower lanes than it initially did, the state won\u2019t have to push back curbs \u2014 saving trees that in earlier versions might have had roots damaged by the curb relocation. Marconi described it as a \u201crepave and restripe\u201d project, rather than a widening of the road. \u201cThe lanes will be somewhat narrower than originally proposed in order to be sensitive to the streetscape and town character,\u201d Robbins said. The intersection of Prospect Street and the CVS shopping center will be realigned to reduce the \u201coffset\u201d and facilitate the timing of traffic lights there with those at the Catoonah\/Bailey and Governor Street intersections. \u201cProspect Street and Main Street are still proposed to be realigned to improve traffic flow,\u201d Robbins said. \u201cThe exact design has yet to be approved.\u201d\u00a0Sean O\u2019Kane, a local architect who serves on Robbins\u2019 committee, expressed concerns about this realignment \u2014 though he noted that these are his personal thoughts, and not necessarily the view of the full committee. Catoonah Street will no longer have turning lanes added, which will save landscaping on the corner near the Carnal Insurance building. \u201cCatoonah will remain fundamentally the same as it is now,\u201d Robbins said. The \u201cloading zone\u201d in front of the Addessi block, just south of the Catoonah Street intersection, is regarded as a safety problem by state planners and they intend to eliminate it regardless of other potential changes to the plan. \u201cThis elimination will likely take place under any circumstance, as the loading zone creates a serious safety hazard for pedestrians and is not consistent with ensuring the safe passage of vehicle and pedestrians,\u201d Robbins said. The state\u2019s plans reduced the number of parking spaces in front of the Addessi block, raising objections, and that concern remains unresolved. \u201cThere is no final decision yet on the reduction of parking spaces in front of the Addessi site,\u201d Robbins said. \u201cFurther presentations and discussions will help finalize how many may have to be removed. The meeting of Feb. 28 will provide more clarity.\u201d The town clock near St. Stephen\u2019s Church was to be relocated in some versions of the plan, but that idea has been dropped. \u201cNo relocation,\u201d Robbins said. The feedback session next Tuesday was \u201crequested by the DOT, their meeting,\u201d Marconi said, and reflects the state\u2019s desire to come up with a plan that will be acceptable to the town.