Today's CT Mirror features a very good story by Mark Pazniokas on a first step to better coordinate the bicycle and pedestrian work of DOT and DEEP.
With our focus on active transportation, Bike Walk Connecticut would like to see more comprehensive, deliberate, and strategic integration of multiuse greenways and complete streets efforts, connecting both to transit for a truly multimodal transportation system befitting the wealthiest, best educated state in the US.
With Cash for Bike Trail, New Era Begins at ConnDOT
By Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror, Sept. 29, 2015
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will mark a milestone today when the state Bond Commission authorizes $5.1 million to construct a missing piece of the New Haven-to-Northampton, Mass., bicycle trail in Farmington.
For the first time, the DOT will wholly fund a section of a regional trail system that evolved from a series of municipal projects financed by a mix of federal dollars and local matching funds, a formula that long has frustrated advocates of mixed-use trails.
The funding signifies the start of the DOT delivering on a promise to play a stronger role with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the completion of Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and another major system, the East Coast Greenway. Read the full story here.
Related: CT's Transportation Bonds Attract Buyers
Bike Walk Connecticut happily applauds the leadership of Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker for signing a new “Complete Streets” policy for the DOT. The policy expressly promotes safe access for all users by providing a comprehensive, integrated, connected multi-modal network of transportation options.
“We are committing ourselves to incorporating the objectives of complete streets in everything we do at the DOT,” said Commissioner Redeker. “As we plan and design new projects and other infrastructure improvements, this commitment will be front and center.”
DOT's policy is intended to:
This policy includes procedures to directly address training for planning and design staff, project development checklists for bicycle and pedestrian design inclusion, more inclusive design guidance, access to public funding, expanded data collection and performance measures for all modes. Through data collection and performance measures the DOT will have the tools to effectively prioritize transportation spending and improve safety outcomes.
“While the signing of this document is an important step for the Department, it is also a continuation of our commitment to Complete Streets,” Redeker said. “Currently, projects originating from our Office of Engineering routinely undergo a comprehensive assessment of bicycle and pedestrian needs and all Bureaus are working to better integrate the needs of all users into their projects and processes.”
The Commissioner noted that Route 44 in East Hartford will undergo a “road diet” in 2015 to provide bike lanes, enhance vehicular safety and efficiency and improve pedestrian and transit accommodation throughout the corridor. The Department is also outfitting 50 train cars with bike racks on the New Haven Line operating between New Haven to New York City. CTfastrak, opening in 2015, is the state’s first fixed bus guide way running from New Britain to Hartford. It will enhance transit options for the capital region and provide a new multi-use trail facility from New Britain to Newington.
In addition, the Watertown Bus Maintenance Facility will include an accommodation for the Naugatuck River Greenway providing riverside non-motorized access to the bus garage and transit stop. The DOT’s encroachment permit review will now include documentation of Complete Streets policy compliance.
Read the DOT Complete Streets Policy Statement.
See our Complete Streets Initiative.
On June 19, 2014, CTDOT hosted a series of meetings with nearly 100 stakeholders from throughout the state to discuss key aspects of TransformCT, the Statewide Transportation Plan. Bike Walk CT was there to represent the interests of the bike/ped community.
The Department has just posted a summary of the events of that day on the project website at www.transformct.info. Look for the "Project Documents" tab on the navigation bar. There you will find a summary of both the morning and afternoon plenary sessions, as well as separate summaries of each breakout group meeting or Council. If you have any more ideas that you want to share with CTDOT, go to the "Contact Us" tab or the "Share Your Ideas" tab to respond to other related questions.
A new CTfastrak bus was unveiled during a ceremony at the State Capitol on Monday. The ceremony was followed by a transit-oriented development tour of the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system.
During the ceremony, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said: "CTfastrak, along with the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Program, will create opportunities for mixed-use transit-oriented development along two of the state’s most populated corridors, linking existing neighborhoods to employment centers. These transportation systems unlock the potential for TOD development that can support the creation of housing choice and vibrant commercial centers that allow residents to work, play, and shop without the need of a car."
The bus that was unveiled will be part of a new fleet of hybrid diesel-electric buses that will begin operating in central Connecticut in early 2015. The buses will include 30-foot buses to provide neighborhood circulator service and 40-foot buses to operate connector routes. The main line service will be operated with 60-foot articulated buses that will begin to arrive in the fall. All the new buses will feature GPS tracking so riders can find out where their bus is, LED lighting and free WiFi service.
Following the CTfastrak bus unveiling ceremony and press conference, officials took a transit-oriented development tour of the CTfastrak guideway. The tour began at the CTfastrak Downtown New Britain Station and followed the guideway through Newington, West Hartford and into Hartford.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will hold a public informational meeting regarding the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail Extension.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at the Cheshire Town Hall, Council of Chambers, 84 South Main Street, Cheshire, Connecticut. A design presentation will start at 7 p.m. with a question and answer period immediately following.
The purpose of this project is to extend the shared use path known as the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in the Town of Cheshire. The Department is currently designing two sections of the trail.
Section 1 – Project No. 25-145: Between Cornwall Avenue and Route 68/70 (West Main Street).
Section 2 – Project No. 25-144: Between Jarvis Street and the Southington town line.
The Town is also currently designing another section of the trail between Routes 68/70 (West Main Street) and Jarvis Street under Project No. 25-135. The completion of both the Town and State’s designed projects will close the 4.7 mile gap in the trail corridor to provide a continuous 23 mile trail from New Haven to Southington.
The project will generally consist of a 12-foot wide paved surface with a 2-foot stone dust shoulder throughout the length of the 4.7 mile gap. A boardwalk section is proposed through much of the wetland area in Section 1 and consists of a 10-foot wide surface.
The present schedule indicates that construction is planned for the Town’s section, Project No. 25-135, in 2015; and the State’s design Section 2 in 2016 and Section 1 in 2017. The estimated construction cost for the state designed project is approximately $4.6 million for Section 1 and $6.0 million for Section 2. Both are anticipated to be undertaken with 80% federal funds and 20% state funds.
The public informational meeting is being held to offer a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail Extension in the town of Cheshire.
If you have noticed a lot of potholes throughout the streets lately from the past winter, some of those may be fixed soon.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced this week that an additional $11.9 million will be used to fund the state’s annual maintenance and road resurfacing program, which – combined with $57 million in previously approved funding – will repave and repair 264 miles of primary roads around the state.
Final Draft Report of CTDOT's Putnam Bridge Study Available For Public Comment Through Tomorrow—May 20th
The Draft Final Report for CTDOT's Putnam Bridge Multimodal Trail Connections Feasibility Study is available for public review and comment through tomorrow, May 20, 2014.
The report can be viewed here.
Comments can be submitted to Jeff Parker at email@example.com.
Monday evening the CTDOT officials provided two detailed plans to restore the pedestrian/bike walkway over Flower Street in Hartford.
According to the Hartford Courant, one plan contains a skywalk that would start at the corner of Flower Street and Capitol Ave. It would be a 900-foot sloped walkway that would have illuminated handrails. The cost would be $11.3 million and $12.4 million.
The second plan is being dubbed the elevator plan, which would start near the rear entrance of The Hartford Courant building. It would include a 12'x12' elevator for cyclists and people with disabilities and a large stairway for pedestrians. This would cost $7.6 million to $9.7 million.
Read the full article here.
Besides this week (May 12 to May 16) being Bike to Work Week, it is also CTrides week.
CTrides is asking commuters to take advantage of the various ride options instead of riding alone. Commuters can take a bus, train, join a carpool, walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving.
Commuters participating in CTrides programs can track their miles and earn rewards for restaurant certificates and discounts, tickets to shows, sporting events, retail discounts and more.
For more information, visit www.CTrides.com.
The CT Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a public information meeting on Monday, May 12 to discuss options for a bicycle/pedestrian crossing at Flower Street in Hartford as part of the CTfastrak bus rapid transit project.
The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Lyceum Resource and Conference Center, 227 Lawrence Street in Hartford.
Residents, business owners and other interested parties are encouraged to attend, compare project options, and to share their preferences.
Bike Walk Connecticut
Send us your bike walk related news and time permitting, we'll do our best to post it.