Category: transportation

Learning Curb: Equal Opportunity Offenders

By , April 18, 2014 7:03 am

We know that a recent Learning Curb got some people bent out of shape.

It reminded us of an old episode of the Colin McEnroe show in which the host was speaking with Steve Almond about how humor writing works– it’s all good until you hit on an issue that a person is “allergic” to, and then that listener wants everything to stop and be serious. Because you just made fun of the one thing she doesn’t think is so very funny.

So, we offer this: instead of using any of the many bike racks on this block — trust, there were spaces available — this bicycle was abandoned in the middle of the sidewalk on Main Street. This was directly in front of the police substation. We suppose the rider could have wiped out and this have been an accidental parking job.

Moving Bikes with a Bike

By , April 14, 2014 9:30 am

Finishing his crosstown move, Justin Eichenlaub cuts through Pope Park.

Map of Parking in Downtown

By , April 13, 2014 10:33 am

Visiting Hartford but not sure where to lock up your bike? Here are some of the spots in Downtown Hartford that have bicycle racks, if you insist on being all formal about it and not just tying the bike to a random fence post.

Created using Google Maps

Are there other racks located in Downtown that are not on this map but should be? Put a note in the comments.

DOT Committed in Court to Building Bridge for Pedestrians and Cyclists

By , March 18, 2014 9:22 am

Glossing over the matter of safety and likening the plaintiff’s issue with the Flower Street closure to one of “inconvenience,” the Superior Court in Hartford ruled to dismiss the lawsuit against James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Christopher Brown had sought a writ of mandamus– a resolution that would require the CT DOT reopen Flower Street for cyclists and pedestrians as DOT’s hearing officer Judith Almeida had ruled previously. With the dismissal, the DOT is permitted to leave a city street permanently closed to all forms of traffic.

Attorney Ken Krayeske said the outcome was not unexpected. “We knew going in that a mandamus presents a unique challenge: how do you prove a plaintiff has a legal right to something?,” he said.

“We understood the uphill odds, but we filed because the Connecticut Department of Transportation relegates cyclists and pedestrians to second class citizenship,” Krayeske said.

View from the “mitigation path” that goes between Broad Street and Flower Street. The broken fence between the Interstate and path adds confidence for those expecting a safe route, free of wayward vehicles.

The DOT, now backed by the court, has said that an east-west path sufficiently mitigates the closure of a north-south route. The bike lanes on Broad Street have been accepted by them and the court as another solution to the closure. The new lanes and bike boxes on Broad Street were painted in November; the paint is already nearly completely eroded in places and few cyclists use it. According to dozens of cyclists, this stretch of Broad Street is not significantly safer since the installment of these lanes. In the last month, huge potholes in the Broad Street and Capitol Avenue intersection have not made things easier for those on two wheels. Although not directly part of the Flower Street situation, a nearby stretch of the East Coast Greenway which has been identified as the responsibility of the State had gone neglected for weeks while a large sheet of ice made walking and cycling a challenge. Continue reading 'DOT Committed in Court to Building Bridge for Pedestrians and Cyclists'»

Parade and Running Race = Weekend of Detours

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By , March 14, 2014 8:50 am

Image courtesy of the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Saturday. Besides the influx of pipes and thick wool sweaters, this means a change in how to get from here-to-there.

The map (left) shows the streets directly impacted. It’s safe to assume that those nearby and within that route will also be temporarily closed.

CTTransit says that there will be temporary bus service disruptions on Saturday between 11-2. The parade begins at 11, so it’s safe to expect those disruptions to begin a bit before. The downtown Hartford bus stop for all routes will be on Market Street between Kinsley and Talcott Streets.

The 5, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 50, 52, 53, 56, 58 and 59 buses will not be running on Main Street between Charter Oak Ave and Trumbull Street. The 30, 60, 62, 64, 66, 74 and 76 buses will not be running on Asylum Street between Main and Broad. The 61, 63 and 69 buses will not be running on Capitol Avenue between Broad and Main.

Route map courtesy of the Hartford Marathon Foundation

Then, on Sunday, there will be more disruptions due to the O’Hartford 5K and Wee Mile.

This means that Trumbull Street (between Asylum and Jewell) and Pearl Street (between Ann and Trumbull) will be closed from 10-3.

From 10-1:30, Trumbull Street between Church and Asylum will be closed.

From 12:30-2, the following streets will be closed to motor vehicle traffic:

  • Pearl Street 
  • Jewell Street
  • Main Street (between Pearl and Park)
  • Park Street (between Main and Park Terrace)
  • Park Terrace
  • Capitol Avenue (between Park Terrace and Trinity Street)
  • Trinity Street (between Capitol Avenue and Ford Street)

Bus service changes include moving the downtown Hartford stop for all routes to Market Street between Kinsley and Talcott Streets between 10-3 on Sunday.

If you lack the patience for delays, this might be a good weekend to leave the car in the driveway and walk or ride a bicycle instead.

When’s the Next Bus? The Future of Hartford’s Transit System

By , March 10, 2014 8:15 am

Connecticut’s public agencies tasked with managing public transportation services are currently planning the future of transportation for the state. The state Department of Transportation is in the midst of a widespread campaign called Transform CT to solicit public input on its 50 year transportation plan. The Capitol Region Council of Governments will soon begin a comprehensive evaluation of bus lines in the Hartford region.

Both of these efforts touch the city of Hartford’s bus network. So what we do want? What kinds of things should we be asking for? When it comes to improving the bus system, this can be a complex and confusing question even for those of us who ride the bus daily. Many of us feel frustrated with the bus service in Hartford and can cite a litany of complaints—too many connections, no crosstown routes, lack of bus shelters, slow travel speeds and lengthy trips, poor service in the evenings. It’s a big list.

And yet every day (more so on weekdays) all these buses are out driving around the city, often filled with passengers, every single one of them either heading toward or away from downtown.

To get past this vague but overwhelming sense that we could use a better bus system here, we can take some cues from Jarrett Walker’s book Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives. Walker suggests that we can start with two factors that affect the performance of a transit system—frequency and span.

Walker is a transportation planner and consultant, but he comes to transportation planning with a background in studying human cultures and languages rather than engineering or management. His is a book that pays close attention to language—for instance, Walker points out the problems with transit planners’ use of the term “captive” to describe people who are forced to use public transportation because they do not own a car. In another instance he argues that referring to transit “connections” is better than calling them “transfers” when one has to switch to a second bus on a given journey because the former sounds more positive.

Walker is known for being a champion for frequency—for more buses to run more often on a given line as the way to serve and attract more riders. (Other transit planners believe that the comfort and aesthetics of transportation vehicles is equally, if not more, important.) Frequency has become Walker’s rallying cry. “Frequency is freedom,” he exclaims. Walker’s argument is that the more often a bus comes to your bus stop matters even more than the average speed that your bus travels once you get going. This seems counter-intuitive, even irrelevant, for trips made with a car. With a personal automobile frequency is never an issue. The car is always there and ready to depart when you are. For bus travel, it’s the waiting that can really kill your sense of mobility. Continue reading 'When’s the Next Bus? The Future of Hartford’s Transit System'»

Closed Again

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By , March 7, 2014 9:17 am


The Capitol Avenue I-84 W entrance ramp is scheduled to be temporarily closed again.

On the evenings of March 10 and March 11 ramp access will be cut off. It will re-open again the following mornings at 5.

There are other nearby entrance ramps including on Asylum Street and Sisson Avenue.

A message from the DOT says that “the closures are necessary for pile-driving operations required for the construction of CTfastrak.”

According to the CT DOT, this work will not have any impact on pedestrians.

Engaging the Public on Transportation and Zoning

By , February 28, 2014 9:28 am


Hartford hosted zoning and transportation meetings this week as one agency launches a new plan and the other moves toward refining regulations.

DOT gives quick explanation of TransformCT at the Lyceum

The Zoning 101 event was presented by Hartford 2000 — the coalition of Neighborhood Revitalization Zones — and the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services. Actors Cindy Martinez and Taneisha Duggan from HartBeat Ensemble were in the audience at the Hartford Public Library, adding drama to liven up what is often, but does not have to be, presented as a dull topic. All seemed to agree that HartBeat’s involvement was the strong point of the evening.

As the presentation moved along, there was frustration when City of Hartford employees were not answering resident questions. This was intentional at first, as someone’s questions were deferred from middle to the end of the planned presentation. Later, it seemed that people were talking past each other.

Local activist Hyacinth Yennie asked “What about the enforcement? … that’s the most critical of all.” The City employees agreed, but gave no hard answer about how zoning regulations would be enforced.

Mary Ricker Pelletier wanted to know who is on the team that is making the zoning changes. She received no response.

Ricker Pelletier commented that residents are often asked for input at meeting after meeting, but are not involved or informed when compromises are made. She asked, “What is the compromise process?” She was told that people could go to the new zoning website to see how people could be involved. Continue reading 'Engaging the Public on Transportation and Zoning'»

CTfastrak to Prompt More Temporary Closures

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By , February 24, 2014 9:53 pm

Originally supposed to happen at the beginning of the month, the temporary closure of the I-84 West entrance ramp on Capitol Avenue will be happening on February 27, 28, and it looks like March 1. The bulletin released by CTfastrak says that the ramp will be closed starting at 10pm on both February 27 and February 28, and then re-opening the following mornings at 5.  Continue reading 'CTfastrak to Prompt More Temporary Closures'»

Highway Entrance Closure

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By , January 23, 2014 8:45 pm

UPDATE: As of January 29, this work and closure has been postponed until further notice.

Weather permitting, construction work will be done on the railroad bridge over the Capitol Avenue I-84 westbound entrance ramp over the course of two evenings in early February.

The existing railroad bridge will be removed, so this highway entrance will be closed from 10pm-5am of February 3-4 and February 4-5, 2014. The Department of Transportation did not say how this would impact the pedestrian/cyclist bridge behind the Armory and Legislative Office Building.

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