Three Questions Town Council Should Ask about Vision Zero Action Plan

Below is a public letter sent to West Hartford Town Council members from the Bike West Hartford board on January 12th 2024. For context about our concerns with the Vision Zero Action Plan, read our Jan 7th post “Demand 30 Day Public Review to Strengthen Vision Zero Action Plan” and Jan 10th news coverage “Frustration About Inaction Mounts” CT Insider news story by Michael Walsh (gift link).

Dear Town Council members:

The West Hartford Town Council committee on Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) is scheduled to hear a presentation on the Vision Zero Action Plan at their Wednesday January 17th 8am meeting. Since this is a virtual meeting with little opportunity for public input, here are three questions we encourage Town Council members to ask:

1. Has the Town publicly shared the full version of the revised Action Plan, with time for the general public to review the document and make thoughtful comments, both via email and in person, and for those comments to be reviewed by town staff and consultants and incorporated back into the document? 

2. At the Jan 8th Vision Zero meeting, several Task Force members appeared to have serious concerns with the Action Plan and the process, including whether or not they will have a vote to forward their final recommendations to the Town Council. Have Council members heard feedback from Task Force members, who the Town appointed one year ago based on their expertise, on the current plan and the process? And if not: would you be willing to put a hold on this process and either meet as a joint Town Council and Task Force to hear concerns, or send it back to the Task Force for a 30-day review?

3. Has the “Strategy G: Make Infrastructure Improvements” section been strengthened to include quick-build traffic-calming projects that the Mayor promised one year ago, and to require some roadway changes in the High Injury Network and school zones without the need for more audits plus a potential two-year wait? 

We appreciate the work of the Town Council and Task Force to ensure safer roadways for all members of our community.

Bike West Hartford board members
Jennifer Boyd, Jack Dougherty, Jen Fleet, Ethan Frankel, Tracey Frankel, Jim Head, Tom Martin
(Note that Mary Donegan recused herself because she serves on the Vision Zero Task Force)