Parking at Saville Dam closed

Photo by Darcy Abbott
Photo by Darcy Abbott

BARKHAMSTED —Due to various problems of crowds of people parking at Saville Dam, parking at the dam has been closed indefinitely.
According to First Selectman Don Stein, gatherings where a large influx of people have been hanging out at the dam, usually in groups and not social distancing, has been an ongoing problem.
“The last couple of weeks as soon as the sun came out people were flocking to the dam,” Stein said. “One week there was a car club there with a ton of cars and people were hanging out in throngs. The parking lots were overfilled and people were not social distancing. They were parking on the road which created a traffic problem.”
After consulting with the State Police and the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), Stein said that it would be best to block off the parking lot to the dam.
“The weekend after we closed off parking, we had one state trooper and one MDC policeman who spent a lot of time there to clear the dam from people,” Stein said. “As soon as the two officers left people would come back. They couldn’t get into the parking lots but they would park on the dam or both sides of the road.”
Stein said that it got to the point where parked cars were blocking traffic from coming down the road.
“We’re trying to figure out what to do,” he said. “We recognize that people need to get out. They need sunshine and recreation and they need to walk. But we are also trying to prevent things from getting too dangerous for traffic or pedestrians.”
Stein said he, along with the MDC and the state police, are trying to figure out the next steps when it comes to preventing people from parking and gathering at the dam.
“Hopefully, when they start to open up the state more people will have more options when it comes to the outdoors than just coming to the dam,” he said.

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