Around this time next year, expect to see some streetscape improvements under construction along Bartholomew Avenue in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.
The Bartholomew Avenue Streetscape and stormwater improvement project is primarily funded by a State of Connecticut OPM TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) and Responsible Growth Incentive Fund grant of $2 million, and $1.6 million from MDC for streetscape design and construction combined with stormwater-sanitary infrastructure. The City of Hartford has kicked in $25,000 for CDM Smith — consultants with an office in East Hartford — to get the project going.
On Wednesday, the first public workshop was held at the Parkville NRZ’s monthly meeting. There were a few residents in attendance, but most participants represented nearby businesses and organizations. CDM Smith did not come in with designs, but set up the meeting to gain insight about what ideas might be desired by locals as they turn their attention to sidewalk enhancements on Hamilton Street near the signalized crossing, lighting improvements under the “Parkville” bridge, and various other changes along Bartholomew Avenue between Park Street and Hamilton Street.
Participants were shown a few photos as examples of possible improvements and handed stickers for “voting” on the items they liked most. With categories of streetscape, traffic calming, green infrastructure, bicycle facilities, and placemaking, ideas were floated out in what Dennis Goderre, senior project manager with the City of Hartford, called the “just getting started” phase. Options such as bike lanes on both sides of the street versus a protected cycle track were offered up, along with types of sidewalk and artwork.
In small groups, participants talked about potential changes, with desires varying by composition of who was in which groups. Some wanted on-street parking swapped for trees and bike corrals. One group suggested adding bike lanes. Another believed there is currently not enough parking on Bartholomew Avenue. One group noted the ongoing issue with puddles on the street that needed to be fixed. Many requested mid-block crosswalks, preferably painted vividly to grab the attention of speeding motorists.
The next public meeting has not been set yet, but Goderre thought it could happen in June. The project is expected to go out to bid in the fall, which means a final design should be in the works by summer or fall 2017.
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