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This is as dangerous an intersection as any in New Haven and need a "NO TURN ON RED" sign for southbound College St.
Please take a look at the article and weigh in with your thoughts.
Below is one of the many insightful comments.
Several Elm City Cycling members were able to attend and can answer questions about the details of the Phase 1 plan (like the curb radii), which are not really shown in this article.
posted by: Steve B on June 10, 2011 1:17pm
Mixed bag overall, some things to like, some progress, but overall I was pretty underwhelmed by what I saw last night. The marketing materials distributed at the beginning called this a “bold” vision. I disagree. If you take for granted the highway stub should be removed, this plan is the least “bold” way to accomplish that.
The upside of the current plan is mainly just that the median is reopened for development, which might sort of accomplish the goal of “stitching” neighborhoods back together, and it will build the tax base.
But the city’s stated goal of improving safety and making the streets more hospitable to pedestrians will not be accomplished under this plan. The stub highway wasn’t the problem, it was the frontage roads, and this plan makes them wider and more dangerous.
Likewise, the city’s stated goal of creating an appealing, walkable neighborhood street will not be accomplished under this plan. They claim that future development will be mixed use (retail, residential, office), but NOBODY wants to live in a building surrounded by eight lanes of high speed traffic and the accompanying noise and pollution. Dream on.
The truth is that the City is simply grossly overestimating the amount of roadway capacity that will be needed in the future. They claim to be concerned about traffic backing up onto 95, but I think other elements of the plan like funneling more traffic onto Orange and George Streets will deal with that threat. Once the city streets are reconnected and traffic is better distributed (Temple, Orange, two-way George, two-way College, and direct routes to Union Station), then Route 34 will be able to operate just fine with much less capacity than it has today. Furthermore, the direct ramps to Air Rights Garage will single handedly remove 4,000 vehicles from surface streets that are there today.
If they took the existing drawings, and replaced one entire lane of traffic in each direction with street parking, I would support the plan. Such a design would slow travel speeds, provide better access to ground level retail, and provide a buffer between sidewalks/bike lanes and auto traffic, and shorten crossing distances. THAT would be a much friendlier street. And I sincerely believe that motorists would not be adversely affected. The current design has unnecessarily generous car capacity.
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