Monday, January 31, 2011

52 Motor Vehicle Crashes in A Few Hours, After New Haven Snowstorm

An excerpt from reporting from Paul Bass:

Police Monday responded to 44 traffic accidents by 4 p.m. and were headed out to handle eight more, thanks to continuing street problems connected to last week’s storm. Snowbanks blinding drivers around town, such as the woman who ended up stumbling out of her smashed Dodge Stratus and collapsing on Dixwell Avenue.

As many as five or six accidents were reported at a time Monday afternoon in the upper Whalley/Amity area. Traffic was reported gridlocked or near-gridlocked at times along Chapel Street and the Boulevard. Two people did go to the hospital by ambulance and traffic ground to periodic halts for a half hour after a 9:15 a.m. crash at Dixwell and Webster.

Monday, January 17, 2011

14-Year Old Killed by Hit and Run Driver in Fair Haven

From reporting in the New Haven Independent at

A 14-year-old was riding his bike on Front Street near Grand Avenue early Saturday morning when he was hit by a car. The teenager was pronounced dead a short time later, according to police spokesman Officer Joe Avery. Police identified the victim as Keyshawn Moore of Orchard Street.

An accident reconstruction team is investigating and police are seeking witnesses. Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call (203) 946-6316 or (203) 946-6304.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Friends on the Way: Approval for Quinnipiac Avenue Repaving, Roundabouts and Livable Street Designs

Original Post, 3/20/09: With the release of stimulus package funding, the reconstruction of the heart of Quinnipiac Avenue is now scheduled to begin as early as this fall.

The project had been in the works for about ten years. Due to extensive citizen input, over that time it progressed from a standard high-speed ConnDOT design into a more livable street with roundabouts, wider sidewalks and chicanes. The road passes through the heart of the Quinnipiac River District of Fair Haven Heights, one of New Haven's most important historic areas, with homes still dating from the 1760s. See this post for previous articles on Quinnipiac Avenue.

These "livable streets" measures will serve to reduce traffic speeds, which will have the direct effect of raising property values, improving safety, and encouraging people to make more friends (a study from England recently re-confirmed Appleyard's 1969 research on that subject). They will hopefully prevent the types of traffic-related injuries that have been fairly common on this section of road.

Yet questions within the community still abound about when other sections of the avenue -- which is rife with speeding (see photo, courtesy of the NH Independent) -- will be improved. Excerpts from local coverage below:

Public gives thumbs-up to redesign, NH Register, 3/25/09

It took eight years of planning, but dozens of Quinnipiac Avenue residents this week expressed satisfaction with the final version of a city redesign of a portion of the major thoroughfare. The $7.1 million project will extend from Lenox Avenue to Clifton Street and add safety features that will convert it from a straightaway, while providing for protected on-street parking and other features, to the delight of homeowners.

“We’re so looking forward to being able to walk him up the street with usable sidewalks,” said Quinnipiac Avenue resident Ian Christmann, referring to his 11-month-old son, Sawyer, who joined his parents at the community meeting at the Pilgrim Church in Fair Haven Heights.

Miller said the project changes Quinnipiac from Lenox to East Grand avenues by adding roundabouts, bump-outs for parking and chicains, which are curb extensions that alternate from one side of the street to the other, forming S-shaped curves.

Chris Ozyck, another Quinnipiac Avenue resident, congratulated the city on the project and also for traffic enforcement there and on Front Street, which has slowed down vehicles.

Q Ave Residents Ask For More “Redo”, NH Independent, 3/24/09

Bekhrad was one of dozens of local residents who turned out to hear an update from city officials on the status of the Quinnipiac Avenue “re-do."

The city’s plan features a number of traffic calming measures — including a roundabout, chicanes, and bumpouts — designed to discourage cars from flooring it on the straightaway. The project also includes reconstruction of the retaining wall and sidewalks along the avenue.

Dismayed at the state of the avenue, and looking for a public partner for her private investment, Bekhrad went right to the top with a recent request to fix her road. Last month she sent President Obama a letter, asking for his cooperation and financial support on her project. She copied the letter to Mayor DeStefano.

“We haven’t begun to think about the rest of the road,” the mayor replied. “So it could be at least another eight to ten years?” Bekhrad asked. The mayor agreed that yes, it could be as long eight or ten years, but promised to take up the matter. “Between now and whenever we next get together we’ll take a look at areas north and south of Phase One and Two,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to attract people,” Bekhrad said. She’s trying to fill seven of her $800,000 condos. “People came today, they said, ‘Your units are beautiful, but the street stinks,’” Bekhrad said. She didn’t close the deal with the prospective tenants.

Christmann was encouraged by the meeting, and looks forward to a transformation of his street. “We have one of the most walkable areas in town,” he said, describing a local riverside walking route. “But we’re stuck with a stretch of Quinnipiac Avenue that is treacherous — four wheel drive treacherous.”

Update 1/5/2011: Phase One of the project nears completion. According to reporting in the New Haven Independent, many neighbors are cheering the progress:

Traffic-calming techniques, meant to improve safety, are a vital part of the Quinnipiac reconstruction. Read about their significance here and here . Roundabouts and separators have been installed, but there’s work in this area left still.