We began looking at the speed of various projects in Hartford as we noticed a serious slow down of work at the same time that we were hearing rumors out of City Hall that money was being creatively redistributed. Others can look into the latter, but as we took a peek at various projects, it was undeniable that movement stalled in the season when the weather is actually cooperative for much of the work. Now, we look again to see what has changed since early September.
iQuilt and the Intermodal Triangle
When the iQuilt was developing and the public was invited to various meetings, the impression given was that this was meant to invigorate the environment, making a more pedestrian-friendly connection from the area of Bushnell Park and The Bushnell, to the Connecticut River. Wayfinding signs have been installed and Envisionfest has finally begun attracting a respectable number of visitors, but what else?
The Intermodal Triangle Project is responsible for the sidewalk along the north side of Bushnell Park getting ripped out. Those who use the park as part of their commute have found themselves re-routed. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects: November 2014 Update'»
Curbside leaf collection begins on November 2 in the city of Hartford, but not all neighborhoods start on the same day. Leaves raked to the curb — not into the street — will be picked up twice, with the last day being December 12. If you want to know the exact dates so that your leaves are not a nuisance to others, go to the Department of Public Works’ interactive map. Continue reading 'Bring Out Your Dead (Leaves)'»
In an area of Downtown, beyond the parking garages and towers, is a park that sits atop the I-84 tunnel. Two of its three segments — east of Main Street and west of Trumbull Street — are nothing more than vegetation and rarely used benches. The central piece, known as Heaven, has evolved from hosting underutilized four square and basketball courts, to attracting skateboarders, graffiti artists, and others. It has been featured in skateboarding videos and magazines.
The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works was recently audited. The resulting report includes details such as the cost of a part entered incorrectly (“$5,180 instead of $5.18″) and how 30% of the parts inventory is either overstocked or obsolete.
Works Equipment Services Division Accounts and Operations Audit
Management has been given until the end of 2014 to take action.
Alexander Williams interned at Built It Green! NYC while at Fordham, working on both the abstract, office end of its compost program, along with the physical collection and maintenance of food scraps. From there, he spent a few months as the compost coordinator for GrowNYC. Both non-profits taught Williams about the logistics of turning waste into a usefulness substance.
Experience alone does not pay the bills, so Williams headed out of the big city and back to his hometown of West Hartford. With his degree in Environmental Studies, Economics, and Urban Planning, he was looking for work aligned with this background. He found Blue Earth Compost. Susannah Castle, its founder, wanted to move on. Right place, right time, right background. Williams stepped in as the new owner this past spring.
Blue Earth Compost is small, with three residential clients in Hartford and 35 in West Hartford. There are a few businesses that participate, including the Kitchen at Billings Forge and reSET. Continue reading 'Scrappy Small Business Spotlights Sustainable, Local Economy'»
With so much talk of how the City has been spending money and plans to use bonding in relation to the proposed stadium, it’s time to take a look at how Hartford is using Capital Improvement Project funds elsewhere.
The recently re-opened George Day Park is one of those items. With new playground equipment, basketball court, garden area, and water features, this Parkville spot cost $870,000 to renovate.
In neighboring Frog Hollow, the Pope Park North/Baby Pope playground has been under construction for months. The underutilized tennis courts, broken chain link fencing, and dated playground equipment were ripped out, along with a concrete spray pool. Neighborhood kids have been, in the meantime, playing basketball and football on the first block of Putnam Street, in the roadway. Here, the City has said that the spray pool and playground construction would be completed by May, but a sign at the site says July. There is some playground equipment and picnic tables in place, but work remains to be done for the $570,000 price tag.
The Goodwin Park spray pool construction is scheduled to be completed in August: $190,000.
The carousel in Bushnell Park opened for the season at the end of June, approximately two months later than it normally does. That it has been open for more than only two days this season is an improvement over what was expected — one day in June, one day in September. The necessity of some of these renovations has been debated, but ultimately, the funds were approved. A document produced by the City lists the CIP funds for this at $900,000, yet the City Council approved $1M for it. Construction should complete in late November. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects'»
The area of State House Square that had been proposed to change into a lane for buses.
With so little useful information traveling between City Hall and the general public, it is easy to get the impression that projects have stalled when that’s hardly the case. Continue reading 'Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime'»
Between the MDC’s Clean Water Project, DOT’s CTfastrak construction, and other perpetual repairs, now we can add back in the necessary and annoying tradition of ripping it all up and putting it back down.
The City of Hartford has released the milling and paving schedule for Spring 2014:
||Brookfield to Pope Park Hwy
||Eaton to Airport
||To Be Decided
||5/11 – 5/12
||Airport to E. Elliot
||5/12 – 5/13
||Brookfield to Chandler
||Morgan St N to Pequot
||Market to N Chapel
||5/28 – 5/29
||Farmington to Collins
||Park to Capitol
|| (info not released)
||Capitol to Gray
||Savitt to Jennings
||6/3 – 6/4
||Trumbull to R.R. Bridge
||Albany to Garden
||5/21, 5/22, 5/27
||Homestead to Albany
||Market to End
|Farmington Ave *
||Broad to Sigourney
||New Britian to Grandview
||Henry to White
||Hubbard to Maple Ave
||5/7 – 5/8
Dates subject to change due to weather conditions. The asterisks indicate that paving is planned for night time.
Vehicles need to be off the street by 10pm on February 4, 2014 and remain off until 10pm on Wednesday.
Vehicles parked on-street during the ban are subject to ticket and tow.
There are multiple options for where to leave your vehicle. If friends and neighbors have no extra space in their driveways, the public school lots are options. Lots at Elizabeth and Pope Park will be available; also Colt Park (lot accessible from Wawarme) and Keney Park (lot accessible from Ridgefield). The lot at 2 Holcomb Street is another choice, as well as KDA Center Lot on Naugatuck Street and Metzner Center lot, accessible from Franklin Avenue. The Morgan Street Garage will be open, too.
If you disregard the parking ban and get towed, call the Hartford Police Department (860) 757-4000 to find out where your car is at.
Waste and Recycling Collection
Collection will be delayed by one day. Those on a Wednesday schedule should put trash out on Thursday, those scheduled for Thursday should set barrels out on Friday, and those scheduled for Friday should place containers out on Saturday.
The McKinney Shelter, Immaculate Conception Shelter, and South Park Inn will be open 24 hours during the storm.
Those of you who bothered to get your cars off the street, congratulations. You will be able to move them back after noon today. Everyone else, enjoy digging yourselves out. Continue reading 'Parking Ban to Be Lifted at Noon'»