Making Progress: Traffic Calming Coming to Boulevard

We applaud the Town of West Hartford for installing different types of traffic calming measures along Boulevard to improve safety for all users – pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists – coming soon in 2024. These safety improvements are designed to fulfill the Town’s Vision Zero Action Plan and Complete Streets Policy. Learn more about these and other improvements on the Town’s Vision Zero Projects interactive map web page

First, to reduce speeds of vehicles on Boulevard, the Town announced it will install a raised crosswalk at the intersection of Boulevard and Wardwell Road, near Sedgwick Middle School. Raised crosswalks calm traffic by forcing drivers to slow down at intersections where pedestrians need a safe way to cross the street.

Above: Raised crosswalk (inset photo from New Haven) to be installed at Boulevard and Wardwell on WH Vision Zero Project map

Second, the Town is planning to install two more rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB): one at Boulevard and Wardwell, and another at Boulevard and Lemay, both near Sedgwick Middle School. Pedestrians can push the button to warn motorists when they are crossing the street. Earlier this year, the Town installed the same flashing beacon at the intersection of Boulevard and Whiting Lane, where 89-year-old pedestrian Eugenia Yurovsky was killed by a driver in late 2022. 

Above: Recently-installed flashing at Boulevard & Whiting Lane. More will be installed at Boulevard & Wardwell, and Boulevard & Lemay.

Third, the Town announced it will install bike lanes on Boulevard from Mountain Road to South Main Street. This will fill in a recently-paved section where no bike lanes are present. This safety improvement will link existing bike lanes on other segments of Boulevard to create the longest continuous east-west bicycle infrastructure in West Hartford and improve safety for all users, in compliance with the Town’s Complete Streets policy. The Town Engineer’s June 5th letter to Boulevard-area residents explained how car lanes will be narrowed and on-street parking will be available only on the north side of the street to make room for bike lanes “to enhance safety and promote healthy lifestyles [and] also contribute to a more vibrant and sustainable neighborhood.”

Above: Bike lanes to be installed on Boulevard, from Mountain Road to South Main Street, as shown by green line on WH Vision Zero Project map

More traffic calming measures are being evaluated for additional locations on Boulevard and around town, especially in school zones and along the High Injury Network (HIN) of roadways with frequent crashes.

Above: Portion of the High-Injury Network (blue lines) from the Town of West Hartford Vision Zero Action Plan

The Vision Zero Action Plan also prioritizes the evaluation and reduction of speed limits. Given that Boulevard serves as a route to several schools such as Duffy, Sedgwick, Kingswood Oxford, and Whiting Lane, it is an ideal candidate for lowering the speed limit to 20-25 MPH, with design improvements to match. Currently, the speed limits on Boulevard are 35 MPH west of Trout Brook Drive and 30 MPH east, which are high for a residential road.

Thank You to the Town of West Hartford!

These are all excellent developments! We extend our thanks to the Town of West Hartford for their commitment to making Vision Zero and Complete Streets improvements on Boulevard and across town.  These traffic calming measures represent a significant step forward in making West Hartford safer for all users.