Updated: The WHPBC voted at its July 7th meeting to send a letter to the Town Engineers to consider a version of this alternative proposal. Also, see additional feedback by Alex Truskowski on the New Park Avenue Complete Streets Plan.
At the July 7th Transport Hartford walk audit along the New Park Avenue Complete Streets Project, participants discussed the Town’s current proposal and a possible alternative proposal. Overall, the goal is to improve safety and quality of life in this area of town, especially for pedestrians and cyclists living in the new apartment units on New Park Avenue to reach their closest grocery store and elementary school. Here’s some rough sketches of the two concepts, which we’ll discuss further at the West Hartford Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission meeting on Monday July 11th at 7pm at the Elmwood Community Center.
Town Engineers presented their June 2022 update on the New Park Avenue Complete Streets Project at the last meeting of the WH Ped & Bike Commission. One very significant revision they proposed is to reduce the one-way bike lanes, which were initially designed to run alongside most of New Park Avenue project area. The Engineering Update stated that “the bike lanes [will begin at the Trout Brook Trail entrance near the bridge and] will end at Talcott Road, and transition to an 8-foot wide paved sidepath along the west side of New Park Avenue to West Hartford Place [the Home Depot shopping area].” See a visual representation of the Town’s June 2022 proposal in the unofficial map below.
During our recent walk audit, participants questioned the plan for two one-way buffered bike paths, which rely solely on paint to separate cyclists from speeding traffic along New Park Avenue. If the Town insists on a multi-use side path for pedestrians and cyclists on the western side of New Park Avenue (between Talcott Road and the entrance to the Home Depot shopping plaza), why not build a two-way protected bike path (with dividers to separate cyclists from speeding cars), rather than two one-way paint-only bike paths? Furthermore, to ensure continuity of safety for pedestrians and cyclists, would the Town be willing to convert the existing sidewalk (between Home Depot and the CT Veterinary Clinic) into an extended multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists to safely reach the Charter Oak School and future bike paths on Oakwood Avenue? See a visual representation of this July 2022 alternative proposal in the unofficial map below.
Come and discuss at the WH Ped & Bike Commission meeting on Monday July 11th at 7pm at Elmwood Community Center. Readers can use the interactive map below to zoom into the map and turn on and off different layers to view both proposals and explore more ideas.