Bike West Hartford encourages readers who support our recommendations to express your views in an email to any Town officials listed below, with a link to this post, and to cc: BikeWestHartfordInc@gmail.com
To: WH Town Engineer Greg Sommer (Greg.Sommer@WestHartfordCT.gov), WH Assistant Engineer James Brennan (firstname.lastname@example.org), New Park Avenue Complete Streets Project (email@example.com), WH Town Manager Rick Ledwith (TownManager@WestHartfordCT.gov)
Cc: WH Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission members: Chair Ed Pawlak, Colin Gillespie, Dan Firestone, Jill Morawski, Ken Livingston, Paul Hogan, Sandy Fry; WH Town Council members: Mayor Shari Cantor, Liam Sweeney, Adrienne Billings-Smith, Carol Blanks, Alberto Cortes, Leon Davidoff, Mary Fay, Ben Wenograd, Mark Zydanowicz
From: Bike West Hartford, Inc. Board members: Mary Donegan, Jack Dougherty, Ethan Frankel, Tracy Frankel, Scott Franklin
Re: Recommendations for New Park Avenue Complete Streets Project
We write to recommend changes to the New Park Avenue Complete Street Project plans by the Town of West Hartford Engineering Division, specifically the 35% completed plan dated March 2022 and detailed in our July 5th web post. The Town of West Hartford received over $3.7 million of State of Connecticut grant funds to complete this project (Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program project number L155-0004).
As board members of the Bike West Hartford, Inc. non-profit organization, we advocate for biking, walking, and mass transit infrastructure and mobility justice across all neighborhoods in West Hartford. We have actively participated in discussions about the New Park Avenue Complete Streets Project with the Engineering Division at the June and July meetings of the West Hartford Pedestrian and Bike Commission, and also during a July 7th walk audit of the area.
Attached is our list of three recommendations on a one-page map, which is consistent with a more detailed July 25th letter from the West Hartford Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission to the Town Engineer.
In order to meet Complete Street goals for improving walker-cyclist safety and building connected neighborhoods – especially for newer residents at 616 New Park and soon 540 New Park Ave – we recommend these revisions to the next version of the Engineering plan:
1) Extend the road diet along the full span of the New Park Ave project area (from the Home Depot entrance to New Britain Avenue).
2) Extend a separated and fully protected 2-way multi-use path on the west side of New Park Ave (from Home Depot to New Britain Ave) and widen to 10 feet, to protect walkers and cyclists from motor vehicles.
3) Widen the sidewalk around Home Depot into a continuation of the 2-way multi-use path to connect with the Charter Oak School and the Oakwood Avenue bike lanes.
We support the WH Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission’s request for an in-person work session with the Town Engineer and staff to further discuss this project, and we request that Bike West Hartford board members be invited to attend this proposed session.