Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Urban Network: Aldermen Seek Changes to Route 34

Please see today's reporting by Phil Langdon on the New Urban Network for an update on the Route 34 Resolution, which passed a Committee of the Board of Aldermen last month. An excerpt from Phil's report:

Among the changes sought by the aldermen are:
• Equal planning priority for pedestrian, bicycle, mass transit, and automobile traffic in the design;
• A pair of two-lane streets instead of two planned four-lane roads to carry much of the traffic that now uses the expressway;
• A maximum of three lanes where necessary (including turn lanes);
• Travel lanes only 10 feet, along with relatively tight corners, to calm traffic and minimize crossing distances for pedestrians;
• Separated bicycle facilities (cycletracks) adjacent to the two principal streets;
• Road design standards based on a target speed of no more than 25 mph;

Advocates for pedestrians, cyclists, and a less automobile-oriented design have been frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the mayor. The New Haven Safe Streets Coalition, which mobilized city residents to ask their representatives for a more pedestrian-oriented design, sent out a mass e-mail accusing the City of "trying to divide the community by spreading inaccurate information."

The Coalition said one letter from the City "claimed that widening highways like Route 34 can help reduce traffic within cities," when in fact the reverse is true. Another statement from the city claimed that intersections in the redesigned streets will be very similar to most intersections currently found in downtown New Haven, but cites what the Coalition says are "places that we know have been the scene of multiple fatalities and injuries in recent years, and that are not pleasant for young persons or the elderly to cross each day."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Driver Traveling at 60 MPH Hits Yale Residential College, Student Avoids Being Hit by 3 Inches

From the Yale Daily News:

A man driving a Volvo S80 crashed into a pole on Park Street outside Pierson College at around 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. The man was driving at over 60 miles an hour along Edgewood Avenue when the car swerved and came within three inches of hitting Chris Dennen '12 before smashing into the pole, according to three students who said they had heard an account from Dennen . Jeff Fell '12 and Sam Teicher '12, who both live on Edgewood Avenue, said Dennen was "shaken up" but unscathed. Dennen left the scene after the incident, they said. The vehicle's driver was not intoxicated at the time of the accident, police said. A graduate student, who lives on the corner of Park Street and Edgewood Avenue, corroborated the account, adding that the vehicle first hit the curb and lost a tire. The graduate student said two Yale Police Department officers who witnessed the incident both admitted they couldn't believe what they were seeing.

The incident took place just a block from where a speeding SUV careened off the road and into a house full of Yale affiliates in September.