East Hartford will do pretty much anything to lure developers and tax money into town. There are plans for outlet malls in the old airfield. Now they are courting a casino development at the shuttered movie theater. A traffic study was completed to determine if the nearby infrastructure could handle the traffic from adding a casino. Of course there is capacity. The streets are designed to handle the rush hour traffic from Pratt & Whitney's heyday. The streets are capable of funneling hordes of UCONN fans home after the seven home games each year at Rentschler Field. The issue isn't capacity. The issue is safety for those in the community using these streets everyday. Silver Lane and the surrounding streets are the opposite of "Complete Streets".
|Can East Hartford turn a gamble into sustainable infrastructure?|
The East Coast Greenway through East Hartford needs to be completed. This parallel East-West route would provide a safe, convenient, and attractive multi-use path for cyclists, walkers, and the disabled. The East Coast Greenway is a national route, much of it separated from vehicle traffic, and it is making great strides toward completion in Connecticut. There are two East Hartford CT DOT Projects that could complete segments in the existing gap between Forbes street and Great River Park. The holdout is Pratt & Whitney. Despite up to $500,000,000 in state tax benefits lined up for the construction of a new, sustainable, engineering building on Willow Street, United Technologies / Pratt & Whitney does not support the preferred route of the East Coast Greenway on Willow Street. As a CT taxpayer and former P&W employee, I'm rather confused by the corporate stand on this great project? There are so many benefits that it isn't worth recounting them here.
|A multi-use path parallel to Willow Street is the best route.|
In the interest of promoting bike commuting in Hartford metro, there are a bevy of Bike to Work Breakfast events in the coming weeks. One of them right across Main Street from Pratt and Whitney. You can "Pledge" to ride to work in May with Bike Walk Connecticut.
- Friday, 5/15. Hartford: Hosted by Bike Walk Connecticut. 7:30AM to 9:00AM. Old State House. Open to public. This one is specific to bike commuters.
- Thursday, 5/21. East Hartford: Hosted by Pratt & Whitney and Goodwin College. 6:30AM to 9:00AM. 339 Main Street. Open to public. The East Hartford event is welcoming bike commuters, walkers, transit users, car pool. Pretty much anyone but single occupancy vehicle travelers. Try something different - www.ctrides.com.
- Bike to Work Meetups - Groups riding in together to the breakfast events.
- Contact Mayor Leclerc and the East Hartford Town Council. Let them know you are interested in Complete Streets and the completion of the East Coast Greenway route.
- Get involved with the Pratt & Whitney Cycling Club and see what you can do to convince Pratt & Whitney executives that the East Coast Greenway route on Willow Street is an amazing opportunity for the company, the community, and the region.
- Contact the CT DOT and ask how Silver Lane and Main Street are being redesigned as Complete Streets? There is a Complete Streets policy on the books now at the DOT, and the next time they repave there is an opportunity to make real improvements for the safety of all road users.