Speaking Out for Safer Streets in West Hartford

Emily DiSalvo’s Dec 28th article for CT Insider, “West Hartford Residents Call for Change After Five Motor Vehicle Deaths in a Week,” quotes several advocates about why we’re speaking out for safer streets:

“It’s part of the reason we reactivated Bike West Hartford,” said bike activist and West Hartford resident Mary Donegan. “We didn’t think that the town was listening to its existing citizen groups. And we thought the town needed outside pressure since it wasn’t listening to those groups… The town needs to really overhaul how it incorporates citizen input and participation into town planning,” Donegan said. “Citizens are not empowered through the current task forces and groups and advisory boards in the town to impact government. That needs to change.”

“I feel like when you look at the ways the roads in West Hartford and a lot of places in Connecticut, in this country, are designed, it’s kind of like they’re almost setting people up to fail,” said Jason Wang, West Hartford resident and advocate. “The width of the roads is a significant factor.”

“I think a lot of town planners and town engineers are not necessarily trained for this paradigm shift for equitable transportation for the future,” Tracy Frankel said. “There needs to be that collaboration and interaction among different communities.”

See also Alison Cross’s Dec 29th article for the Hartford Courant, “Five People Died in One Week in West Hartford Roads. Here’s What the Town Plans to Do About It,” for additional perspectives by WH Pedestrian and Bicycle Commission chair Ed Pawlak, Town Manger Rick Ledwith, Hartford alternative transportation activist Kerri Provost, and also Mary Donegan.

BWH member Jack Dougherty speaks with Mayor Shari Cantor and Town Director of Community Development Duane Martin during protest at fatal crash scene. Photo: Michael Walsh, Hearst CT Media