Blending beautiful, beloved Main Street with a state Department of Transportation project aimed to improve traffic flow by adding turning lanes and realigning an intersection won\u2019t be easy. And while a committee works with the state planners to find a solution, others who care about Main Street are worried, and complaining they\u2019re not being given enough opportunity to participate in the process. \u201cPeople are jumping to conclusions,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Monday. The committee working with state officials was due to go to the DOT offices in Newington late Wednesday afternoon to review another revision of the fourth approach to the project. There\u2019s already opposition. \u00a0 \u201cNew is not always better,\u201d said Helen Dimos, who is monitoring the project for the Ridgefield Garden Club, in a letter to Marconi this week. \u201cElements in this plan will alter the charm of the street and harm the business owners. A beloved streetscape should not be redesigned by traffic engineers.\u201d Main Street landlord Wayne Addessi told Marconi that the most recent design options create a loss of parking. \u201cIn my opinion, there can be a better way and all I ask is you consider more options and discussions,\u201d he wrote. \u201cThere has been not enough effort to include important taxpayers and landlords and business owners to review and add input to the plan.\u201d Dimos, a former member of the town\u2019s architectural advisory committee, is active on land development issues. She also addressed the parking issue, and complained of exclusion. \u201cYou have not informed me and numerous others who have participated in previous meetings regarding this project. And it seems all but one Main Street business owner have been excluded as well,\u201d Dimos wrote. \u201cFurthermore, changes to the plan apparently call for eliminating numerous parking spots on Main Street, which most, if not all, the retail owners are opposed to.\u201d Marconi said critics are premature in judging a plan that\u2019s still being developed. \u201cThis is all preliminary. There are still public hearings. There\u2019s still a lot for review,\u201d Marconi said. \u201cThis is just for the state to begin putting something down on paper to bring something to public hearings for people.\u201d Support areas There are some aspects of the plan that even critics support, such as moving the CVS shopping center driveway so it\u2019s directly across from Prospect Street, and synchronizing the three village traffic lights. The seven-member committee working with the state is a mix of business people, town officials, and interested volunteers: Bill Craig of Craig\u2019s Fine Jewelry, Ursula Hanavan of Designs by Ursula, local architect Sean O\u2019Kane, Tree Warden John Pinchbeck, Dan O\u2019Brien of the Historic District Commission, and Rebecca Mucchetti of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The committee\u2019s chairman is Charles Robbins. The committee is drawn from a larger group of 30 or 40 people who turned out for the first meeting or two on the state project. Robbins said no one is being deliberately excluded from the process. \u201cCertainly our intention was never to prohibit involvement, and we welcome the input from others,\u201d he said in an email to The Press. \u201cAs a committee, however, we seek continuity and continuous involvement of the members to ensure progress, which is why it remains a small working team.\u201d Cooperation Committee member Rebecca Mucchetti, chairwoman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, believes the process is working well. \u201cIt\u2019s been good. The state has really been cooperating with the town,\u201d she said. The committee members have considered a succession of options presented by the state engineering team, and are beginning to find some agreement. \u201cI believe we\u2019ve coalesced around option 4,\u201d Mucchetti said. \u201cWe thought it was most considerate of the streetscape and treescape and character of Main Street that everybody fiercely wants to protect. \u201cAnd they\u2019re listening,\u201d she said of the state engineers. \u201cThe difference between 1, 2, 3 and 4 \u00a0was the width of the sidewalks, the turning lanes, and the allocation of streetside parking,\u201d Mucchetti said. \u201cAnd, most importantly, trees.\u201d How many trees are being saved in the most recent plan? \u201cMost of them,\u201d Mucchetti said. \u201cJohn Pinchbeck is part of the group and he\u2019s been very engaged. The DOT has a landscape architect that is part of the planning, and she and John Pinchbeck have met on regular intervals. \u201cThey have a staggered set of recommendations,\u201d Mucchetti said. \u201cSome trees are going to have to come down because they\u2019re not healthy and they believe they\u2019re a risk. And some are going to have to come down because of the modification \u2014 but those are minimal. And some trees don\u2019t have to come down.\u201d The total number of trees should remain the same. \u201cEverything they\u2019re talking about is \u2018remove and replace.\u2019 If they\u2019re removing a tree they\u2019re going to replace it with another tree, once the improvements have been made,\u201d Mucchetti said. As far as the changes to the roadway, Mucchetti said the plans included \u201cturning lanes added at Bailey and Catoonah \u2014 one in each direction. \u201cAnd the same thing at Prospect, where they\u2019re realigning the entrance into CVS. There\u2019ll be both north and south \u2018left turn\u2019 lanes. They\u2019re going to change the configuration of the intersection so that it lines up, instead of being offset the way it is now.\u201d There would be \u201cno new lanes at Governor,\u201d she said. \u201cAll of the plans remove that \u2018loading zone\u2019 in the middle of the road in front of the Addessi building,\u201d she said. \u201cThe state was concerned about how risky it was to have a loading zone at that location ... The trucks park there, and you have parking on side, and through traffic flowing on the other side.\u201d Mucchetti said the suggestion to eliminate the loading zone came out of Route 35 traffic study done in 2003. \u201cThey said that was the single most dangerous aspect of Route 35,\u201d she said.