“Silent Resignation” Challenged

It’s not too late to make New Haven’s biggest downtown development in a generation more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly.

So argues the advocacy group Elm City Cycling (ECC).

On the eve of a legislative vote on Downtown Crossing—the $140 million plan to gradually fill in the Route 34 Connector mini-highway to nowhere and construct a 10-story medical-oriented building—the group issued a statement calling for more revisions.

Proposed zoning changes crucial to moving the project forward come before the Board of Aldermen’s Legislation Committee Thursday night. The meeting begins in City Hall’s Aldermanic Chambers at 6 p.m.

The ECC statement praises the city and state for making some changes to the plan, which critics have blasted for shortchanging two-wheeled or two-legged travelers at the expense of cars or for failing to knit back downtown with the Hill as originally promised. But the statement argues that it’s not too late to make more needed changes.

“While some of the project funding may be time-sensitive, this should not dictate silent resignation to the flaws of Downtown Crossing,” the statement reads in part. “The process of improving the project must be ongoing.”

Click here to read the ECC statement.

Click here and here to read recent background stories on Downtown Crossing and the debate over its merits.

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posted by: Nathan on June 14, 2012  9:45am

They should support my proposal to keep the lanes under the new building open to through traffic, exactly as it works now, with the addition of the well-considered plan to have traffic enter the garage from the lower level as well.  Take a look at that stretch of road during commuting hours, count the number of vehicles that are entering and exiting the last two exits, and then try to imagine what it will be like when all of that traffic is diverted onto the Frontage roads.  Add in the opening of Gateway College and this city will see a mass of vehicular congestion in that area that will be epic, with all of the accompanying issues: air quality from the idling engines, dangerous pedestrian and cyclist crossings for the wide lanes, etc.  It is not too late to stop this potential nightmare for all users of the roads before it is created by bad design.

posted by: Long Time NH Resident on June 14, 2012  10:12pm

I can’t believe more people are not aware of the nightmare you are describing. Epic will be an understatement. I have taken pictures of the traffic leaving the City about 5-5:30 every evening on 34 it is ALWAYS BACKED UP EVERY NIGHT WELL PAST CHURCH STREET. At least 3 times a week, or when it rains, or when theres an accident or its Friday or Tuesday traffic regularly backs up to the 1st entrance ramp at the Garage. I have told the mayor- PHYSICAL SPACE is the amount of area taken up by x number of cars. You can’t avoid the facts. Cars take up space and if the cars take up all the space now, when you remove the space WHERE ARE THESE CARS GOING TO BE IF YOU FILL IN 34 ???? IN THE STREETS AROUND DOWNTOWN, THEN WHAT?? and you think it’s hard to get people into town now. What happens when traffic going into town in the morning starts backing up on the new Q-Bridge? I can here it now the bridge to the new 34 parking lot. What is the point of constructing this great flyover? so it can hold backed up traffic entering the City. I am not against this project, only the IGNORANCE of this administration to see the obvious larger problem it will create. We pay these people to do what??