I work across the street from the amazing engine of development that is Goodwin College and regularly take the short walk from Pratt & Whitney to stretch my legs and put eyes on the Connecticut River. Jarring me out of river staring bliss is the high speed outlet of the busy Route 2 exit ramp. Even more disturbing than my alert high stepping to cross the street between speeding cars is the position of the new Connecticut River Academy magnet school building. Something felt very wrong. A school at the foot of a high speed exit ramp without any observable traffic calming or cross walks. Seriously?
|The new building for the Connecticut River Academy|
Goodwin College has decided to invest in higher education, magnet schools, rental housing, and riverfront property value in this previously neglected neighborhood. This is despite the CT DOT scar (Route 2) that cuts much of the Goodwin campus and property off from Main Street East Hartford. In what I've seen of Goodwin College's leadership, they are in it for the long game, which includes environmental sustainability, ethical stewardship, and community building. It would surprise me if Goodwin College hasn't approached the CT DOT about fixing the looming hazard of the unadulterated Route 2 exit ramp. Little do they know, the CT DOT is waiting for a body count.
I challenge Kate Rattan (CT DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator) and Sharon Okoye (CT DOT Safe Routes to School) to take a long hard (proactive) look at how Route 2 and the outdated interface with this neighborhood can be improved to the benefit of East Hartford and safety of the youths that are soon to attend the otherwise beautiful Connecticut River Academy. I understand the the CT DOT is a large ship to turn, but to do otherwise would be negligent.
|A view up the Route 2 ramp from the corner of the school yard|
|The exit ramp traffic is moving too quickly to read this sign.|