Category Archives: Transportation

Gridlock near I-84

I don’t understand why the congestion that surrounds the I-84 entrance and exit on Park Street has gotten so much worse than it was before the reconstruction. But it absolutely has.

It’s ridiculous at many times of the day.

What’s happened is that there are more cars lined up for the left turn onto Trout Brook Drive, causing them to back up and block the entrance ramp for people trying to turn left onto the ramp from Park.

Because these folks can’t turn left, traffic is also backing up to the east and sometimes blocking Trout Brook Drive as well.

The lights seem to be the problem. They’re ill-timed, out of sync, almost random when a finely tuned machine is crucial.

It’s too hard to go east on Park, too hard to turn onto Park from Trout Brook, too hard to turn onto the highway entrance ramp if you’re heading west on Park and on and on and on.

I’m also sick of people taking right turns on red from the middle lane of the I-84 exit ramp as if there wasn’t another lane to their right where cars can legally turn right on red.

What’s most annoying of all is that I never see cops handing out tickets for all the stupid, illegal things drivers do there now. And I have yet to see any evidence that traffic engineers are watching how screwed up everything is.

Blue Back Square is opening soon. It’s long past time to fix this monstrously poor reconstruction or we’re going to have gridlock in every direction.

Speaking of that, let’s get upgrade the lights along Fern Street and Asylum Avenue, because more of us than ever are going to be trying to avoid going near the mess in the Center.

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Filed under Public safety, traffic, Transportation

Truck ban on Avon Mountain

Other than tunneling through the mountain, I have no idea how they’ll ever make the road truly safe. But does it make sense to ban heavy, through trucks for a few months? It seems like such a gimmick.

29 Comments

Filed under Route 44, traffic, Transportation

Connecticut’s defense contractors rake it in

A fascinating new website, www.fedspending.org, breaks down federal spending by state and, often, by congressional district. You can learn a lot playing with the numbers.

But here’s the big picture: Connecticut ges $23.4 billion in federal cash, of which Social Security recipients taken in $4.9 billion to lead the pack.

United Technologies, though, is right behind, getting nearly as much money as several hundred thousand seniors in Connecticut.

Of the federal grants, $17.9 billion go to individuals, from farmers to railroad pension recipients. Another $4.5 billion goes to government here, with the Department of Transportation collecting the biggest share, at $493 million.

Our own Colt Defense company gets a comparatively paltry $116 million, but I’m sure they need it.

What I found most surprising, of what I saw, was that federal flood insurance in Connecticut costs taxpayers $4.3 billion. That’s more than Medicare in this state.

I assume most of that is to help provide insurance for all those mansions along the shore. It doesn’t strike me, offhand, as a particularly wise way to spend our tax money, particularly given that we can’t even use most beaches in Connecticut thanks to a stupid colonial era decision about where property lines should end at the ocean (low tide lines here, high tide lines in more enlightened locales).

Anyway, go futz with it yourself and see what you find. Report back anything interesting.

6 Comments

Filed under Colt, federal spending, government, Social Security, Transportation

Of SUVs and parking woes at Whole Foods

One blogger believes that Blue Back Square is already tying up traffic, at least at the Whole Foods parking lot.

Of course, there probably wouldn’t be a Whole Foods there if it werent’ for Blue Back, but that’s another story.

The blogger’s right about all the SUVs, though. You’d think driving around town that they were giving SUVs away with all the people taking them out on errands. 

28 Comments

Filed under Blue Back Square, parking, traffic, Transportation, West Hartford Center, Whole Foods

I-84 exit/entrance changes

While I commend everyone involved for trying to fix an increasing mess where we get off and on to I-84, the new solution isn’t much better.

The biggest trouble at the moment, which I’ve already seen a half dozen times, is that traffic going north on Park gets tied up at the light for Trout Brook, backing it up across both the exit and entrance ramps for the highway. That just compounds the troubles, of course, since then people can’t make turns, blocking stuff up further back, too.

I’m no traffic expert, God knows, but there has to be a better way there. Perhaps it’s just the timing of the lights that need adjusting.

In the long run, the focus should be on making the other exits to and from West Hartford easier to use so that more people will shift away from Exit 43 and go somewhere else.

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Filed under Exit 43, traffic, Transportation

$15 million for the busway

I see on the State Bond Commission agenda that Gov. Rell plans Friday to release $15 million to spend on the design of the New Britain to Hartford busway. The money will also be used to start buying up property that’s in the way.

I’ll believe it when I see it. I still can’t imagine who’s going to use this bus.

But perhaps I’m overly pessimistic.

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Filed under bus, busway, mass transit, State Bond Commission, Transportation

Crack the whip on sidewalk scofflaws!

§ 115-24. Removal or covering of snow or ice required.

The owner, agent of the owner or occupant of premises bordering on any street or public place within the Town where there is an established sidewalk shall cause to be removed therefrom any and all snow and ice within 12 hours after the same shall have fallen or formed or within 12 hours after sunrise when the same shall have fallen or formed in the night season. When it is impracticable to remove ice, the sidewalk shall be made safe and convenient for travel by covering with sand or some other suitable substance.

I know the town has lots to do every day, but this would be a fine day to put some of it aside and crack down on the many people who don’t bother to shovel their walks.

The storm was Friday night. Anybody who hasn’t got their sidewalks cleared by now isn’t going to do it — and probably never does. I know in my neigborhood it’s the same folks today that always ignore the law, and apparently don’t care if schoolkids have to trudge in the street or across icy peaks.

It especially irks me when they shovel out their driveways so they can get their cars out but don’t lift a finger to clear the public walkways that the law mandates they make passable. I saw one guy who had his driveway clear but had about 6 feet of snow piled high on each side of it, right where the sidewalk is. He just doesn’t give a damn about the law or the public.

So let’s nail these bums today. The sun is out. It’s a beautiful day to send the cops out to issue a barrage of tickets and bring some attention to this ongoing problem. Whack these scofflaws with a big fine and they’ll think twice about ignoring the shoveling law in the future.

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Filed under crime, News, police, Public safety, Schools, shoveling, town council, Town government, Transportation, Weather