move400
transport more mobile

 
 
 
 
 
 

what we could become if we shifted from car-centric to broad-based mobility: a walkable, bikeable network of town centers​

move400: transport more mobile
The region has low-density rural and suburban communities with pockets of higher-density urban neighborhoods. This has encouraged a costly and unsustainable dependence on cars. As we look to our 400th anniversary, we must improve and expand our rail, bus, bike, and walking infrastructure, while making our highway system more efficient. Emphasizing walking, biking, and public transit will reduce greenhouse gases and lower asthma rates. New commuter rail, bus rapid transit, bike routes, pedestrian paths, and transit-oriented development have improved the way we move. But work remains to finish the Hartford Line, expand the airport, and rethink our highway system. It will make our region more healthy, prosperous, affordable, and resilient.

Areas of Focus: Airport/Rail, Highways/Transit, Walking/Biking

Recommendations & Actions

Airport & Rail

The Connecticut Airport Authority is pursuing an ambitious expansion at Bradley, now an award-winning airport. The expansion is critical to position the Valley and Capital City as a business and tourism destination, and to make Bradley a compelling and competitive alternative for those wishing to avoid overcrowded Boston and New York airports. This includes extending runways and additional taxiways, building a new terminal with additional gates, completing the ground transportation center, and improving air cargo capabilities.

Direct connections from Bradley to greater numbers of cities increase the attraction of the Valley and Capital City for new business investments, support businesses already located here, and expand the region’s market for tourism. Business and government leaders should work with the Airport Authority to persuade airlines that our airport expansion and shared vision for Valley growth will justify and reward expanded route offerings.

Bradley Airport must be accessible to the Capital City area by other modes than private automobiles. This is important for tourists and business travelers seeking to visit without a car, and for residents wishing to reduce their car dependency. Important options include new bus and rail links to the Windsor Locks Hartford Line station, bus or rail along the Griffin Line, and expanded and improved Bradley Flyer service.

We need a sustained, long-term push for higher or high-speed rail from New York to Boston, which would transform the region. This realignment would put Hartford directly between New York and Boston, ending its position on a branch line. Connecting to either of these cities in as little as an hour would exponentially increase Hartford’s attractiveness as a business or living destination.

Currently there are seven stations in operation of the ten planned. The State is seeking funds to build the stations in Newington, West Hartford, and Enfield, and to rebuild the Windsor Locks station. Doing so would help create higher and more sustainable population density, catalyze a range of economic activities, enhance the vibrancy of town centers, and increase housing choices. Over time, increased ridership on the Hartford Line can reduce reliance on highways and driving.

Along the Hartford Line and Fastrak, building out neighborhoods around stations maximizes ridership for the service, and provides options for those wishing to live in walkable, accessible communities.

PROJECT
PROJECTBDL Airport Expansion & Redevelopment
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The Airport Authority is making major investments to the amenities and offerings at the airport to improve the passenger experience, building on years of great customer ratings.
PROJECT
PROJECTWindsor Locks Train Station
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The Windsor Locks station on the Hartford Line, also served by Amtrak, is being relocated to the center of town, which is expected to bring more housing and commercial activity.
PROJECT
PROJECTMontgomery Mill
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Opening adjacent to the future Windsor Locks train station, this converted mill brought 160 new apartments to the center of town. It also is adjacent to the Canal Trail.
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Highways & Transit

Working with ConnDOT, develop a comprehensive transportation and land use strategy that recognizes that the region is at an historic crossroads for transportation investments – a new paradigm is essential for economic development and sustainability.

Reduce or remove key interchanges in central Hartford and East Hartford at 84/91 and the Mixmaster, allowing for appropriate urban development at these key central locations.

 

With the removal of the 84/91 interchange, a once-in-a-century opportunity arises to reconnect nearly the entire length of Hartford to its riverfront.

Advance existing plans for repairing the urban fabric, coordinating with plans for high-speed rail, and re-route I-84 out of the center of the city.

With the removal of the 84/91 interchange, another opportunity arises to create a new boulevard incorporating Morgan and Chapel Streets extending out to Cedar and Homestead Street, stitching together downtown with Downtown North and the greater North End area of the city.

Integrate with the Hartford Line, local buses, bike network, pedestrian oriented town and city centers, and improve critical last-mile options. A greater connection to UConn in Storrs would strengthen the system overall.

Focusing on Hartford and East Hartford, proceed with a demonstration project on one of the six priority corridors selected as part of the Hartford Comprehensive Transit Service Plan.

Enhance the rider experience by providing real-time information, digital ticketing, shelters and stop amenities, and through the introduction of dedicated bus lanes.

Embrace growing micro-mobility options for last-mile connections, and work to develop protections for users instead of barriers to usage.

PROJECT
PROJECTNew Park Corridor
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New Park Avenue parallels CTfastrak in West Hartford, and several new apartment buildings and amenities have sprung up to capitalize on the accessibility of the corridor to the region.
PROJECT
PROJECTReimagining Main Street
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Main Street in Hartford provides more road space to automobiles than it needs, providing a great opportunity for it to become the prime example of a road that is accessible for bus & biking too.
PROJECT
PROJECTRiver Road
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This idea would change I-91's rising and falling topography to remain flat, allowing a cap to be built over it and the dike, and a riverfront boulevard and parkspace to be built atop it.
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Biking & Walking

Make the Valley and its Capital City a national leader in bicycle usage, recalling its exceptional history as a center of bike production. Promote a regional bike plan and network of protected bike lanes and intersections. Increase usage by empowering advocacy groups and vendors of bike services. Capitalize on recognition of Hartford as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community and the national press it received for developing an on-call bike repair team in the downtown area.

 

Many section through the region are already completed, but key gaps remain. Completing the Greenway highlights the Connecticut River Valley and Capital City as a prime destination along the trail, and adds key infrastructure for regional bicycle commuting.

Create a regional Complete Streets Network Map to focus investment, and develop Complete Streets Policies to guide regional funding decisions, along with Implementation Guidance for municipalities.

 

This is critical as a last-mile option. The introduction of Lime bikes in Hartford in 2017 spurred conversation throughout the region of the value of providing a variety of mobility options. A robust mobility ecosystem provides a more equitable, greener, and more connected region.

Walking provides a host of benefits: free and non-polluting mobility, reduced emissions, accessible and attractive neighborhoods, support for mixed-use areas and with housing density, and the creation of vibrant and active public spaces. Favorable walkability scores are now definitively linked to higher real estate values, and is now a key factor in attracting workers and companies to relocate. All of these benefits from walkability can make our towns and neighborhoods better places. Our Valley and city have ample historic settings capable of improving their walkability.

Ensure that all streets are designed to be safe and accessible for pedestrians, especially in downtowns and town centers, and along retail, recreational, and cultural corridors. This includes funding for streets infrastructure improvements and for ongoing maintenance.

When Hartford was recognized as a silver-level Walk Friendly Community, the absence of a Safe Routes to Schools program was identified as an area of need. This is an equity issue: children in urban communities are more susceptible to auto injury on their way to school, but as the region densifies the area of risk will expand. This program ensures the ability of children to reach school without the fear of high-speed traffic and, for drivers, makes school zones an areas of extreme care and attention.

PROJECT
PROJECTPutnam Bridge Pathway
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This disconnected pathway between Wethersfield and Glastonbury would connect 5+ miles of trails east of the river to a growing system south of Hartford.
PROJECT
PROJECTHartline
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Using the Griffin Line as the route for a new pathway would connect countless districts, schools, parks and neighborhoods, and close our gap in the East Coast Greenway.
PROJECT
PROJECTJoe Marfuggi Riverwalk
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Extending north from Riverside Park into Windsor, this trail will link Keney Park and the Bissell Bridge pathway areas to access downtown and enjoy our Connecticut River.
PROJECT
PROJECTNorth Crossing (Downtown North)
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Demonstrating the value of neighborhoods within walking distance to amenities, North Crossing will fill in the parking lots around Dunkin' Donuts Park.
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Resources:

Airport & Rail: Bradley Airport Light Rail Feasibility Study (ConnDOT 2016), Bradley Field Airport Master Plan (ConnDOT 2018), Long-Range Transportation Plan for Metro-Hartford Capitol Region (CRCOG 2019), Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan (2019), Capital Gateway Master Plan, Knowledge Corridor Rail Workshop (RPA 2016)

Highways & Transit: Long-Range Transportation Plan for Metro-Hartford Capitol Region (CRCOG 2019), 84 Viaduct Plan, 84/91 Tunnel Proposal

Biking & Walking: Long-Range Transportation Plan for Metro-Hartford Capitol Region (CRCOG 2019), Hartford Bicycle Master Plan, Complete Streets Plan (CRCOG), The iQuilt Plan for Downtown Hartford (iQuilt Partnership 2011), East Coast Greenway plan

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