New Haven’s Downtown Crossing: New Haven’s revised Downtown Crossing project doomed at start

Dec 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Transportation

Downtown Crossing was awarded a $23 million U.S Department of Transportation TIGER grant, one of the largest issued from Washington, to do the job. Yet the plan’s current design does not align itself with the stated intent of the project.

The original plan called for a four-lane boulevard. This was rejected by Connecticut’s Department of Transportation. Instead, current plans call for an eight-lane monstrosity that will be nearly impossible to cross on foot.

For more on this story, visit: New Haven’s Downtown Crossing: New Haven’s revised Downtown Crossing project doomed at start – Courant.com.

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One Comment to “New Haven’s Downtown Crossing: New Haven’s revised Downtown Crossing project doomed at start”

  1. Some Accurate Facts says:

    Unfortunately, Mr. Norquist’s op-ed is based on a number of factual inaccuracies. While I generally respect his views, he’s way off base here. I think he would have come up with a very different conclusion about the project if he had the accurate information. Here’s a summary of some of the errors:

    The City of New Haven was awarded a $16.0 million Tiger 2 grant, 43% below the figure cited by Mr. Norquist.
    Mr. Norquist refers to the “original plan” and the “public-private effort called Downtown Crossing to replace the Route 34 connector with a walkable, pedestrian oriented street plan.”
    The original plan called for a pair of 4-lane urban boulevards, the building or rebuilding of 4 crossing streets at city grade level and new bike/ped improvements.
    Route 34 is a below-grade highway. It is not an elevated highway as stated by Norquist. Fundamentally, we are filling in the corridor to city grade level. This is a profound misunderstanding of the project details.
    Mr. Norquist implies that the Tiger 2 grant funds all of Downtown Crossing. It is not nearly enough funding to do so. The grant covers the first phase of work, including the first cross street (College Street).
    Mr. Norquist implies that the plan calls for 8 travel lanes side-by-side. In fact, the 2 urban boulevards with new bike/pedestrian improvements, are physically separated by city blocks. These new blocks will be filled with urban mixed use development with front doors from the sidewalk to stores and retail spaces. The first such development is at 100 College Street.
    The resolution submitted to the Board of Aldermen proposed to cut by half the number of lanes in the original plan.
    The design team listened and worked cooperatively with advocates prior to the final vote of the Board in early November. At that time, the Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly approved the Tiger 2 resolution and was based on a series of proposed design amendments to further support bike/pedestrian safety and traffic calming along the corridor.
    The original Downtown Crossing plan was not rejected by Connecticut DOT. Rather, the plan is supported at the policy and professional staff level and included in the region’s transportation improvement plan.
    Mr. Norquist states that the alderman caved in to expressway advocates. In fact, the City and State are working with a professional team of architects, economists and planners as well as traffic / civil engineers. This plan is approached comprehensively by many of nation’s top professionals in urban design.

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