Friday, July 16, 2010

Traffic calming comes to Long Wharf Drive; later removed due to construction

Original Post, 11/19/08: New Haven Independent reports on the city press conference here. In one of many stories on the Long Wharf Drive drag racing issue, which has involved driver injuries and fatalities, the NHI had previously posted some background on the plans, including links to download the plans themselves and an online discussion.

Update 7/16/10: The road-narrowing barriers have been "temporarily" removed due to construction in the area, according to the New Haven Register. There are already reports of drag racing and very high speeds on the roadway. Though city police patrol the area, it is unclear how many speeding tickets they are giving out given the general difficulty of the police department in enforcing the city's speed limit. If drag racing continues at all hours of the day and night, like it did prior to the barrier installation, additional fatalities would not be a surprise.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SUV flips over after cars collide on Downtown New Haven section of Route 34

See coverage in the New Haven Register:

Both vehicles were driving east on Route 34 when a 1993 BMW driven by Victor Bell, 50, of 81 William St., lost control and struck a 2007 Toyota RAV4 driven by Crystal Neuhauser, 41, of 218 Rose St. Ext. in East Haven, state police said. Neuhauser’s vehicle then struck a Jersey barrier in the median and rolled over onto its roof.

The crash once again highlights the unsafe traffic conditions on the connector and surrounding roads, particularly travel speeds that are too high for a densely-populated downtown area with thousands of children, elderly and disabled residents.

Mismanaged traffic in the area has led to several serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities, as well as repeated, but unfulfilled, requests for change by thousands of local residents. For more coverage of Route 34, click here and here.

The ongoing crashes on Route 34 not only cause severe physical and psychological harm to residents, they also each create hundreds of thousands of dollars in shared costs, through insurance, emergency response and police investigations. These costs are socialized, with each family paying more than $1,000 each year for them whether or not they drive to work each day -- in total amounting to nearly $200 billion per year.