Will New Haven Replace a Highway With Highway-Like Conditions?

Around the Network today:

A heralded highway teardown in New Haven may not bring as many benefits to pedestrians as anticipated. Image: Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Will Cars Dominate New Haven’s Post-Highway Development? Sustainability advocates cheered the city of New Haven’s plan to tear down a 1.1 mile stretch of highway near downtown, opening up space for a walkable mixed-use development on 10 acres of newly available land. The project was considered so innovative it was awarded federal TIGER II funds. Ryan Lynch at Network blog Mobilizing the Region, however, says subsequent adjustments threaten to undermine a meritorious project by creating car-oriented conditions that are “hostile to pedestrians.”

“For example, the current intersection of Church Street and North Frontage Road is four lanes across,” Lynch writes. “Instead of enhancing pedestrian connections, the most recent City proposal is to expand this intersection to five lanes across.” City officials say they are willing to work with the community to address concerns. They have, however, complained of being hamstrung by outdated guidance from ConnDOT.

Police Blame Cyclists for Intersection Collisions in DC: Cross an intersection as a cyclist in metro DC, get hit by a car, collect a ticket. That has been the pattern in two injury cases in Arlington and Falls Church, Virginia, reports Bruce Wright at Network blog Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, raising questions about traffic signs and the obligations of cyclists at intersections. In both cases, cyclists were faulted for failing to stop at intersections where trails meet roads. In one case, the police officer faulted the cyclist for failing to obey a stop sign painted on the ground.

Wright did some research examining the legal basis for the tickets. According to him, the police officers’ actions are questionable. “A cursory review of the Code language in this study suggested that trail users on multiuse pathways may not be obligated to comply with non-signalized traffic control devices where the trail intersects a roadway,” he said. Additionally, FABB’s analysis concluded that the trail intersections were a potential safety hazard, confusing to cyclists and motorists alike.

Train Cars Damaged by Irene Floodwaters in Philly: The aftermath of Hurricane Irene continues to wreak havoc on the public transportation system in Philadelphia. Twelve SEPTA trains were badly damaged after being submerged in floodwaters following the storm, reports Anthony Campisi at Network blog Plan Philly. The entire SEPTA system was shut down for Irene and, until yesterday, service to Trenton remained incapacitated. SEPTA officials said several damaged trains will have to be “essentially rebuilt,” though it is unclear what the total cost will be. At least one member of a local transit riders association has criticized the agency for failing to anticipate the problem and move the trains to higher ground.