New Britain Complete Streets Roadmap

Page 1

New Britain

MAY 2022

Complete Streets Roadmap Reimagining Our Streets and Shared Spaces


Acknowledgment We would like to thank the Mayor’s Strategic Plan Committee, the City of New Britain’s Department of Public Works, and the other City departments and community groups that were instrumental in the vision and development of this Complete Streets Roadmap.

Prepared by the City of New Britain with assistance from Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.


MAYOR’S VISION STATEMENT Our streets are the fabric of our community. They help define our neighborhoods and impact our quality of life. They can encourage or discourage walking, bicycling, taking the bus, and whether or how people access local businesses. A tree-lined street with lighting, multiple safe crosswalks, and slower moving cars is much more appealing to a pedestrian than a boulevard with speeding cars and no such amenities. Complete Streets balance the needs of all users by providing a safe and connected transportation system, while creating beautiful streetscapes and gathering places. Nine years ago we made the decision to invest in Complete Streets in the City’s downtown area. At that time, CTfastrak was still two years from opening, and we believed that this investment provided a unique opportunity to rebuild, rebrand, and reimagine the immediate areas surrounding three bus terminals. People invest in communities that invest in themselves, and the City’s $40M investment in our transportation systems has been followed by more than $100M in private investments, with tens of millions more in the pipeline. Because of our vision and our Downtown Complete Streets Master Plan, we are a state leader in “SMART” transportation. Our streets are safer, more connected, and more attractive. Our livability and quality of life have improved, and we have sent a clear message to developers and entrepreneurs that New Britain is open for business. We have a lot to be proud of! Now it is time to apply our experience to address the needs for safety, connectivity, and aesthetics throughout the rest of the City. My vision for New Britain is to be an even more vibrant, walkable, and bikable city. I want this City to be one where people feel safe crossing streets, and when walking, riding, or taking the bus to shopping centers, parks, and schools. Our neighborhoods have unique senses of place and provide public art, green space, gathering places and economic hubs. We create accessible street environments that attract people to our local businesses and attract businesses and employment opportunities to our City. We have a safe and connected network of bike lanes and multi-use trails for transportation or recreational riding. This is my vision, and the Complete Streets Roadmap provides the framework for us to all work together to achieve this future. Mayor Erin E. Stewart



COMPLETE STREETS ROADMAP - INTRODUCTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction

1

A Look Back

4

A Look Ahead

14

Design Approach and Standards

16

Focus Areas

24

Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods and Shared Spaces

27

Supporting Business and Economic Development

45

Improving State-owned Roadways and Bridges

61

Improving the Pedestrian Environment

75

Truly Becoming Bicycle-Friendly

83

Enhancing Gateways

97

Implementation

104


COMPLETE STREETS ROADMAP - INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION The term Complete Streets refers to designing, constructing or modifying roadways to be safe and accessible for all people, regardless of age, ability, or transportation mode. Streets that are designed with everyone in mind promote and enable safe access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets also dovetail with smart growth development principles, economic development drivers, environmental protection, and chronic disease prevention. Because elements of the built environment directly and indirectly affect physical activity, stress, air pollution, traffic, access to food and jobs, and risk factors for obesity and chronic disease, mental illness, respiratory illness, injury, and death, the benefits of making the investment in this approach results in a broad set of well-researched public benefits. Elements found on Complete Streets include sidewalks, protected bike lanes, narrower driving lanes, comfortable and accessible transit stops, frequent crossing opportunities, curb extensions that shorten crossing distances, median islands that offer refuge when crossing wide roadways, accessible pedestrian signals, lighting, street furniture, and wayfinding signage. The City began focusing on Complete Streets in 2012 in an effort to help revitalize the downtown area, improve the livability of the downtown

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Benefits of Complete Streets √ Transportation options and equity √ Safety for all users √ Access to recreation and exercise √ Reduction in chronic disease √ Economic growth √ Improved air quality √ More livable communities


COMPLETE STREETS ROADMAP - INTRODUCTION

area around the CTfastrak BRT Station and encourage transit-oriented development (TOD). This led to the development of two Complete Streets related master plans and a capital investment of over $40M in Complete Streets projects primarily in the downtown area. This investment in Complete Streets improved livability in New Britain, but even more importantly it improved the vibrancy and quality of life the City provides. It also led to the City understanding the value investing in Complete Streets brings to a community. The Complete Streets Roadmap serves as the City’s next phase plan for bringing the many benefits of Complete Streets citywide, and thus improving the livability and quality of life for the entire community.

How the Roadmap is organized? The Roadmap starts with “A Look Back”, which documents the progress the City has made since the Complete Streets Masterplan for Downtown New Britain was completed in 2013, and how that investment is helping revitalize the center of the City. The Roadmap then gets into the heart of this study with its “A Look Ahead” section. This section includes an overview of our Design Approach and Standards and how we seek to establish a consistent and attractive streetscape citywide. It then takes a deep dive into six focus areas we identified as Complete Streets priorities areas. These focus areas include: 1. Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods and Shared Spaces 2. Supporting Business and Economic Development 3. Improving State-owned Roadways and Bridges 4. Improving the Pedestrian Environment 5. Truly Becoming Bicycle-Friendly 6. Enhancing Gateways

The Roadmap concludes with an Implementation section that outlines the framework for achieving the many goals, actions, and benefits identified. This framework will help assure the successful implentation of the plan.

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3


A LOOK BACK

New Britain

A Look Back

Downtown Complete Streets Master Plan

4


A LOOK BACK

A LOOK BACK The City of New Britain began its Complete Streets journey in 2008 with the planning and design of a regional Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor. CTfastrak established a dedicated 9.4-mile corridor between New Britain and Hartford that also provides off-line feeder service to numerous regional hubs including the UConn Medical Center, the Westfarms Mall, and Bradley International Airport. CTfastrak began service in March of 2015 and represents an investment of $572M. The City’s 2008 Downtown Development Plan recognized that an important aspect of positioning for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) opportunities involved making the downtown New Britain road network safer and more pedestrian friendly. These issues were more specifically addressed in the City’s Complete Streets Master Plan for Downtown New Britain, which was completed in 2013.

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Community Engagement: A host of community partners including the Capital Region Council of Government (CCROG), Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), CT Main Street, New Britain Downtown District, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and a number of local residents helped develop the 2013 Complete Streets Master Plan for Downtown New Britain.


A LOOK BACK

This Master Plan identified $26.8M in Complete Streets projects and improvements in the downtown area that would help address the following goals:

1

Establish a vision for the downtown by developing a consistent and attractive streetscape that is unique to New Britain and reflective of the City’s rich history.

2

3

Establish a more livable environment supportive of transitoriented development, economic growth, and enhanced quality of life.

4

Utilize a Complete Streets design approach to balance the needs of cars, people, bicyclists and transit riders, and provide a safe and attractive environment by improving the overall pedestrian experience.

Improve Central Park, the City’s most significant urban space, by making the area more attractive, less isolated, and more conducive for civic functions.

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A LOOK BACK

5

7

7

Reconnect the downtown and neighborhoods by carrying Complete Streets improvements across the State Route 72 overpasses. Re-establish Main Street as the focal street in the City, and reconnect the downtown with the Broad Street and New Brite Plaza area.

Build upon the City’s strong connection with the arts and establish a streetscape art program that includes both permanent and rotating art and sculptures to enhance the streetscape image and provide a destination for visitors.

6

8

Create a wayfinding and historic signage system to guide residents and visitors to destinations, and celebrate the City’s rich history through special signage.

Provide a practical strategy for making the improvements identified in this Master Plan. The project map on the following page speaks to this goal.


A LOOK BACK

PHASE 2

Main & Chestnut Streets

PHASE 3

PHASE 4

Central Park & City Hall Area

PHASE 5

Columbus & Central Station

PHASE 6

Beehive Bridge

East Main Street

PHASE1

PHASE 7

Columbus & Chestnut Streets

v Bea

Police Department Streetscape

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to Washing

High St

Polaski Park

2

n St

6

Myrtle St

East Main

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Main St

3

Bank St

4

Police Dept

Central Park

St

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7

s ut St

Chestn

8 Broad Street Phases 1-3

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Route 9

South Main St

Arch S

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Walnut Hill Park

Washington & Chestnut Streets

Elm

2

City of New Britain DOWNTOWN COMPLETE STREETS PROJECT PHASES

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CTfa

City Hall

PHASE 8 ass

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New Brit

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8

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Main St

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Broad S

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North St

Whiting St

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Hart St

8


A LOOK BACK

In just eight short years, the City of New Britain has accomplished all eight of these goals! The cumulative outcome is a rebalanced downtown road network that is attractive, pedestrian friendly, and one that enhanced transit ridership. Site specific art and historical context elements also foster a unique sense of place throughout the improvements.

and mixed use developments. Examples of these include the $35M Columbus Commons project and a new $15M residential development project at the former Burritt Bank on the corner of Main and West Main Streets which has been vacant for more than 30 years.

The City’s commitment to Complete Streets has resulted in award of more than $30M in competitive grants (both regional and national). The strategic implementation of these grant awards has resulted in increased quality of life for those living, working, and visiting in New Britain. Due to the forward thinking of Mayor Erin E. Stewart and her team (2016 “Creating Hives of Activity” TOD Plan) New Britain is also experiencing a major boom in transit-oriented development (TOD) projects and economic growth downtown. Historic downtown properties that sat vacant for decades, like the historic 1885 Porter Building next to Central Park, have been redeveloped into upscale residential housing, and new high-end residential

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Historic 1885 Porter Building


A LOOK BACK

DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION PROJECTS The Berkowitz Bldg 608-686 Main St New Brite Plaza 60 East Main St Columbus Commons

222 Main Street

267 - 291 Main Street

Courtland Arms - 57 Court Street

Beehive Bridge 267 - 291 Main St

CTfas

trak

The Plaza 235 Main St

222 Main St CTfastrak

The Doris Building - 27 Main Street Columbus Commons 125-145 Columbus Blvd

Courtland Arms 57 Court St The Andrews 136 Main St The Andrews - 136 Main Street

The Doris Building 27 Main St

The Berkowitz Bldg - 608-686 Main St

The Bennett Building 266 Arch St

The Plaza - 235 Main Street

The Bennett Bldg - 266 Arch Street

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A LOOK BACK

BIKE CONNECTIVITY In 2013, coinciding with the City’s downtown redevelopment work, the City of New Britain completed a Bike Connectivity and Traffic Calming Study that established an initial plan for providing citywide bicycle connectivity. The City worked with a group of local cycling advocates to develop this plan, which specifically focused on providing connections to schools, parks, transit, and commercial areas. These advocates went on to become the “Bike New Britain” 410c non-profit that now operates a community bike shop in the downtown area. Upon completing the plan, the City installed the bicycle infrastructure and improvements that were identified. Today, the City of New Britain has built a bicycle network that consists of more than 50 miles of bicycle-specific infrastructure including:

Infrastructure Type (paved)

Total Length (miles)

Bike Lanes

18.19

Buffered Bike Lanes

1.90

Marked Shared Lanes (Sharrows)

18.42

Paved Multi-Use Trails

5.50

Bike Boulevards

0.41

Wide Paved Shoulders

8.41

TOTAL

52.83 miles

The City is constructing a number of off-road, multi-use trail projects. The Stanley Loop Trail will join Stanley Quarter and AW Stanley Parks through a 10-foot wide paved, off-road nature trail. The Beeline Trail will make a 4.9-mile trail connection between the CTfastrak multi-use trail in downtown New Britain and the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT) in Plainville. The City has maintained bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community status from the League of American Bicyclists since 2014, and, along with Bike New Britain, has become a strong partner to Bike Walk Connecticut. The City continues to maintain and improve its citywide bicycle connectivity system, and has hosted bicycle safety events and recreational group rides to demonstrate its commitment to making New Britain a bicycle-friendly community.

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A LOOK BACK

IMPROVED BICYCLE CONNECTIVITY

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A LOOK BACK

The City is grateful to its funders listed below, and the long list of regional community partners including the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Capital Region Council of Government (CCROG), Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), CT Main Street, New Britain Downtown District and others that have helped make this work possible. The City of New Britain is looking forward to further Complete Streets success citywide.

City of New Britain Complete Streets Total Investment - March 2021 Project Downtown Complete Streets Phases 1 - 8

Grant

City

$20,130,400

$4,699,100

Phases 1 - 7 Complete Phase 8 in Construction

$3,730,696

Complete

$91,100

Complete

Broad Street - Phase 2 Improvements Stanley Loop Trail Phase 1 CT DEEP Rec Trails Grant & LOCIP

$248,000

Community Connectivity Bike/Ped Improvements

$377, 000

CMAQ Traffic Signal System

$3,000,000

Stanley Loop Trail Phase 2 - TA Set Aside Grant

$2,610,000

Beeline Trail Phase 1 - 3 TA Set Aside Grant & CT DEEP Rec Trail Grant

$3,180,000

Downtown Paving and Crosswalks

John Downey Drive Improvements

TOTAL NB Complete Streets Total Investment

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Complete In Construction $522,000

$150,000 $3,200,000

$32,745,400

In Design - 2022 Construction In Design

$1,250,000

City-wide Bicycle Infrastructure

Project Status

Complete up to Current Phases Complete but forever being refined Funded, Est. 2023 Construction

$10,442,896

$43,188,296


A LOOK AHEAD - INTRODUCTION

New Britain

A Look Ahead 14


A LOOK AHEAD - INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION The Look Ahead lays out the City’s plan and specific actions required to bring Complete Streets and its many benefits citywide. The section begins with an overview of our Design Approach and Standards and how we seek to establishing a consistent and attractive streetscape citywide. We then take a deep dive into six focus areas detailed on page 28, where we identify the current challenges and overarching goals, provide the design solutions available in our Complete Streets toolbox, and show examples of those solutions through concept-level featured improvement projects. Each focus area concludes with a set of actions to meet the identified goals. In conclusion, the Implementation sections outlines a framework for embedding Complete Streets into existing programs and processes and identifies new initiatives to complete the actions and goals.

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DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

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DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

New Britain’s Complete Streets work was established and continues to be guided by the American Institute of Architects’ Ten Principles of Livable Communities. We have successfully applied these principles to multiple projects over the past decade. This section of the Roadmap outlines those Principles, provides information about the Design Approach and Common Design Solutions we apply, and examples of the design standards and palette used with recent projects. This section of the Roadmap is not intended to be used as a design manual or guideline, but rather speaks to the City’s basic approach to our Complete Streets initiative and projects to date.

PRINCIPLES OF A LIVABLE COMMUNITY Preserve Urban Centers

4

Restoring, revitalizing, and infilling urban centers takes advantage of existing streets, services and buildings and avoids the need for new infrastructure. This helps to curb sprawl and promote stability for city neighborhoods.

Protect Environmental Resources

8

A well-designed balance of nature and development preserves natural systems, protects waterways from pollution, reduces air pollution, and protects property values. 17

Design on a Human Scale

1

Compact, pedestrian-friendly communities allow residents to walk to shops, services, cultural resources, and jobs and can reduce traffic congestion and benefit people’s health.

Vary Transportation Options

5

Provide Choices

2

People want variety in housing, shopping, recreation, transportation, and employment. Variety creates lively neighborhoods and accommodates residents in different stages of their lives.

Build Vibrant Public Spaces

6

Giving people the option of walking, biking, and using public transit, in addition to driving, reduces traffic congestion, protects the environment, and encourages physical activity.

Citizens need welcoming, well-defined public places to stimulate face-to-face interaction, collectively celebrate and mourn, encourage civic participation, admire public art, and gather for public events.

Conserve Landscapes

Design Matters

9

Open space, farms, and wildlife habitat are essential for environmental, recreational, and cultural reasons.

10

Design excellence is the foundation of successful and healthy communities.

Encourage Mixed-Use Development

3

Integrating different land uses and varied building types creates vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, and diverse communities.

Create a Neighborhood Identity

7

A “sense of place” gives neighborhoods a unique character, enhances the walking environment, and creates pride in the community.


DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

DESIGN APPROACH

Putting these Principles into action, the City has and will continue to utilize a design approach for its Complete Streets capital projects that strives to:

Right-Size Streets - Utilize the right-of-way to provide the proper balance in accommodating vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles recognizing that the balance varies within each project based on the context, such as roadway classification, volumes, speed limit, residential versus commercial areas. Right-sizing streets also means setting appropriate speed limits and utilizing the numerous traffic calming measures in the City’s design pallette for site specific conditions. Improve Connectivity in the transportation system for all users, especially for cyclists and pedestrians, by providing infrastructure that closes gaps in the system and addresses safety concerns. Design Consistently - Provide a consistent and aesthetically pleasing street network through streetscaping and similar work that utilizes predefined design standards and helps provide a distinct sense of place throughout the community. Utilize Placemaking - Use elements such as public art, public spaces, specialty signage, and amenities that helps create visual interest and a sense of vibrancy throughout the community. Be Maintainable - Implement designs that are within the Public Works Department’s ability to maintain over the long term, by utilizing effective, long-lasting, low-maintenance design elements.

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NEW BRITAIN’S DESIGN STANDARDS AND PALETTE

DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

Brick Shelf Sidewalk Treatment

Brick Shelf and General Streetscape

Grass Shelf and Concrete Walk

Stamped Asphalt Brick Crosswalk

Cobblestone Planted Tree Surround

Flexipave Tree Surround

The City’s “Standard Specifications for Municipal Construction” prepared by the Public Works Engineering Division, defines the specific technical requirements, details, and specifications used in its Complete Streets designs. The following New Britain photos illustrate some of the standard palette used for specific elements. Concrete Driveway Apron

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Stamped Asphalt Brick Median and Crosswalk


DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

Public Art

Streetscape and Placemaking

Ornamental Lighting and Signage

Head-out Angled Parking

Bumpout / Neckdown

Placemaking Pocket Park

Vehicular Wayfinding Signage

Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage

Stamped Concrete Median

Cobble Bumpout Treatment

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COMMON DESIGN SOLUTIONS

DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

Road Diet A road diet involves reconfiguring the roadway layout to remove a travel lane. As communities desire to accommodate more than just cars along the roadway, they

look to find opportunities to better integrate pedestrian and bicycle facilities and Although the design toolbox includes many transit options along their corridors. In removing the lane, the reclaimed space potential solutions to New Britain’s challenges, can be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge New Britain’s design approach uses the islands, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking, or landscaping. Road diets following common solutions throughout the are a low-cost, high-value solution to addressing many safety and accommodation City to accommodate all roadway users. concerns. These common solutions are sometimes supplemented with other design elements or treatments. The City strives to first consider these common solutions as a low-cost, and maintainable approach to achieving “Traffic deaths Complete Street objectives.

in Connecticut up 16% since last year, on track to set record. One reason is that speeding has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

When planned in conjunction with reconstruction or simple overlay projects, the safety and operational benefits of a road diet are achieved at the minimal cost of restriping.

– 11/9/21 Hartford Courant citing CTDOT and UConn. Ella Grasso Boulevard, adjacent to the CCSU campus, was recently restriped to remove a travel lane in each direction and include buffered bicycle lanes

The Federal Highway has deemed road diets a proven safety countermeasure in reducing crashes. The recent restriping of Ella Grasso Boulevard implements a road diet and provides new accommodation for cyclists.

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DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

Narrowing Travel Lanes/ Lane Diet

Streetscape and Vertical Design Elements

Reducing the width of a travel lane is a

Streetscape and vertical elements include

low-cost solution to calming vehicle speed

the adjoining buildings, street furniture,

and can be used to reapportion the right-

sidewalk and hard scape, lighting, signage,

of-way to accommodate other users. In

and trees that combine to form the street’s

this instance, Alexander Road is being

character. Best practice in urban design

reimagined with ten-foot driving lanes in

places emphasis on providing a minimum

order to add bicycle lanes.

1:2.5 proportion for vertical height (trees or

Streets should function as an outdoor room, surrounding its occupants in a space that is welcoming and usable

buildings) to street width for a comfortable Before

ratio of enclosure. Streetscape plays a crucial role in right-sizing streets and sends visual

Curb Extension

cues to drivers to reduce vehicle speeds

Also known as bumpouts, curb extensions

while providing an aesthetically pleasing

extend the sidewalk or curb line out and

environment.

visually and physically narrow the roadway to reduce crossing distance, make pedestrians more visible and reduce the time that pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

After

Alexander Road before and after showing narrowed lanes and new bicycle accommodation

Source: Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach (ite.org)

Source: NACTO

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DESIGN APPROACH AND STANDARDS

Traffic Calming Traffic calming uses physical design and other measures to provide signals to drivers to reduce vehicle speed and be more alert to pedestrians. Many design elements, shown in the table, and in previous pages are available to combat speeding and other unsafe driver behaviors. The aim is to encourage safer, more responsible driving, improve safety for all users and potentially reduce traffic flow.

Moving Forward Recognizing the need, traffic calming will become an increasing focus of New Britain’s roadway design approach. The City will be developing a systematic approach to evaluating and specifying applicable traffic calming solutions for certain types of road classifications and situations. This process will involve a joint effort between the City’s engineers and

Traffic calming measures implemented to

police along with the Board of Police

date, such as reducing corner radii, reducing

Commissioners, who serves as the City’s

travel lane widths, eliminating a travel lane

Legal Traffic Authority (LTA).

(road diet), and improving the streetscape,

Traffic Calming Progress The City’s 2013 Bicycle Connectivity and Traffic Calming Study identified the need for traffic calming and provided a toolbox of design solutions to calm traffic speeds for various situations. Since then, numerous projects components have been completed as part of Complete Streets or Bicycle Connectivity initiatives. However, not many projects have been implemented where the primary goal was to auto-centric speed reduction alone. There are many opportunities for such projects in the future.

have mostly related to Complete Streets and

Traffic Calming Measures

Bicycle Connectivity initiatives. Addressing speeding, such as with cut-through traffic in neighborhoods and other situations, remains a challenge. However, with increasing concerns of vehicle speeds and safety on many roadways and in neighborhoods, more attention to this issue is needed.

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Traffic calming measures seek to alter the street environment in a way that makes lower speeds more comfortable for drivers and increases their awareness of the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Chicane

On-Street Parking

Choker

Raised Intersection

Closure

Realigned Intersection

Corner (or curb) Extension/Bump-Out

Road (or Lane) Diet

Diagonal Diverter

Roundabout

Lateral Shift

Speed Cushion

Median Barrier/ Forced Turn Island

Speed Hump

Median Island

Speed Table

Mini Roundabout

Traffic Circle


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

FOCUS AREAS

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

FOCUS AREAS The Roadmap is organized by these six focus areas: 1. Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods and Shared Spaces and a sense of place by identifying areas for new or improved neighborhood nodes, streetscapes and the types of amenities that would create “Hives of Activity.” 2. Supporting Business and Economic Development by utilizing Complete Streets as a tool to improve the access and the streetscape around local business and commercial areas, and for promoting further economic development. This includes continuing to focus on Transitoriented Development around CTfastrak stations. 3. Improving State-owned Roadways and Bridges by highlighting many of the identified safety and accessibility issues and presenting a vision for needed improvements throughout the system.

Many of the recommendations for one focus area have positive benefits in another. For instance, utilizing curb extensions to define a neighborhood gateway is also a traffic-calming tool for Improving the Pedestrian Environment. The Arch Street improvement schematic is featured under Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods and Shared Spaces, however, the design also improves access to local businesses and supports economic activity. The featured Truman Overpass schematic transforms a state-owned roadway, improves the pedestrian environment, and helps us Become Bicycle-Friendly by filling a network gap. These cross-supportive design elements speak to the heart of why the City has invested so heavily in Complete Streets, which benefit all users.

4. Improving the Pedestrian Environment by addressing safety, access, and connectivity to key destinations, such as shopping areas, public transit, schools, and recreational areas. 5. Truly Becoming Bicycle-Friendly by further advancing partnerships and programs to better understand our potential users, continue to improve the safety and connectivity of our current network, and enhance programs to educate and encourage more users. 6. Enhancing Gateways into the City, our neighborhoods, and through transition zones to improve aesthetics, wayfinding, a sense of community pride, and the overall branding of New Britain as a desired destination.

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES The biggest driver of the Roadmap is to bring the successes the City has achieved downtown citywide. This will help to create vibrant, attractive, and pedestrian-centered nodes of activity to neighborhoods around the City. Fortunately, New Britain’s neighborhoods, like the downtown area, were developed in a manner which could be considered smart or responsible growth. The development patterns include a mix of uses, walkable neighborhoods with access to employment, goods and services; residential densities that support local commerce and availability of public transit to reduce automobile use. The City’s early industrial leaders intentionally developed the “Hardware City” as a highly livable environment that would be an attractive place to live for their workforce and their families. These existing development patterns offer tremendous opportunity to further leverage Complete Streets design concepts to improve pedestrian-scale mixed use development, create and retain walkable neighborhoods, increase connectivity, and support neighborhood retail areas, all objectives laid out in the City’s Planning of Community Development Plan 2021-2026 (POCD).

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Benefits of Creating Shared Spaces √ Creating wider sidewalks, safer crossings, shared spaces, areas for dining and landscaping in front of neighborhood retail zones, all help to revitalize an area. This in turn stimulates additional private investment in new businesses and new jobs. √ Neighborhoods with high Walk Scores typically feature appealing streets and public spaces that correlate with unique character, high quality of life, and improved property values. (https:// www.cnu.org/resources/economic-benefits) √ In Brooklyn, redesigning a parking lot into a pedestrian plaza boosted retail sales 172%. Not only does this enhance economic vitality, but there are health and social benefits to creating places where people can connect on a regular basis in the community. (Living Streets, 2014) √ In New York City, expanding the pedestrian space in Union Square reduced commercial vacancies 49%. (ARUP, Cities Alive-Towards a Walking World, 2016)


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGNATIONS Locations of Interest Featured Locations •

Barrio Latino (Arch Street)

Osgood/Farmington (Osgood Ave.)

Belvedere (Allen Street)

North & Oak (North Street)

Myrtle (Myrtle Street)

Other Potential Locations: •

Jubilee and Dwight Street

Franklin Square

Farmington Avenue at Beaver Street and Washington Street

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

CURRENT CHALLENGES

In this section more challenges will be shown under existing conditions of the City’s featured projects.

Allen Street corridor showing non-compliant business frontage, excessive curb cuts that are pose safety issues for drivers and pedestrians and cyclists, poor sidewalks and lack of neighborhood vibrancy

Osgood Avenue showing vacant lots, poor aesthetics for business frontage, poor sidewalk condition and no safe crossing to Osgood Park

Arch Street corridor showing lack of streetscaping, lack of street trees, public gathering spaces and lighting, lack of safe pedestrian crossings and access to businesses such as Five Churches Brewery, Arch Street Market and Criollisimo Restaurant.

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Current Challenges

Goals

Design Solutions

Poor aesthetics and decaying streetscape features

Create more vibrant neighborhoods and public gathering places

√ Streetscape enhancements and placemaking

Retail facades needing reinvestment and updating

Encourage neighborhood businesses and development opportunities

√ Outdoor dining and gathering spaces

Help brand specific neighborhoods and sense of neighborhood pride

√ Improved quality and width of sidewalks for pedestrian activity

Improve the overall aesthetics of neighborhood streetscapes

√ Safe crossings, signals, where warranted

Vehicle speed through retail zones

Safety, lack of defined curbing and excessive curb cuts at retail entrances

Lack of sidewalk frontage and accessibility to businesses

No sidewalks or poor sidewalk conditions

√ Shared public spaces/pocket parks

Increase public gathering spaces

√ Curb extensions for shortened crossing distances.

Improve livability

√ Improved transit connections

Lack of safe crossings

√ Public Art

Lack of wayfinding signage

√ Wayfinding signage

Poor or no lighting

√ Amenities like benches and bike racks

Lack of trees

√ Landscaping

Lack of public gathering spaces

√ Ornamental Lighting

Vacant lots

√ Traffic calming

Limited available public space

Four featured locations have been identified for concept level improvements; Arch, Allen and North Streets, and Osgood Avenue. Like many areas of the City, these corridors face typical challenges such as poor or inconsistent streetscape, network gaps, lack of a safe pedestrian environment, inadequate space for community gathering, and a general lack of sense of place. Complete Streets improvements in these areas would help calm traffic, improve the streetscape, improve connectivity, make pedestrians feel safer and improve the aesthetics and sense of place. Where possible, these projects also provide for community gathering spaces or public art, but in some cases those efforts will need to be advanced on private property or in partnership with community leaders. 30


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

DESIGN SOLUTIONS CURB EXTENSION DINING

OUTDOOR DINING/PARKLET

PUBLIC PLAZAS/GATHERING SPACES

Credit: SASAKI

IMPROVED LANDSCAPING AND STREET FURNITURE

31

PEDESTRIAN PLAZAS/ STREET CONVERSION

WAYFINDING


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

IMPROVED STREETSCAPE AND PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

PUBLIC ART

BRANDING NEIGHBORHOODS

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Featured Project 1 Concept

1 ESTIMATED COST: $3.1M

33

Arch Street (Main to Whiting Street) This project involves enhancements to Arch Street, which is part of an area dedicated as “Barrio Latino” to celebrate this neighborhood’s Hispanic culture. The featured improvements, from Main Street to Whiting Street, address poor aesthetics, lack of shared spaces and placemaking, lack of crosswalks and access to businesses, and high vehicle speeds. The City submitted a funding application in January 2022 to the State’s LOTCIP program for these improvements. Arch Street improvements may be extended to Shuttle Meadow Avenue in a second phase of construction.


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Proposed Improvements

Existing Conditions

Proposed Improvements: •

Wider stamped concrete crosswalks at key intervals slow vehicle speeds

Parking spaces converted to outdoor dining at Five Churches and Criollisimo Restaurant

Bump-outs shorten crossing distance, improve visibility of pedestrians and create room for street trees

A new park and playground at a former parking lot

New trees, planters, ornamental lighting with City banners 34


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Featured Project 2 Concept

2 ESTIMATED COST: $600K

Osgood Avenue (Slater Road to Corbin Avenue) In 2022 the City is investing $9M in upgrades to Osgood Park. A retail area located across Osgood Street already serves as a neighborhood destination, which is expected to increase after the redevelopment of the park. However, this area suffers from a poor pedestrian environment for local residents and students due to a lack of crosswalks and signals and gaps in the sidewalk. Vehicular speeds and poorly defined driveways also pose safety concerns. However, this neighborhood retail area is ripe for mixed-use redevelopment. New sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street trees, accessible crosswalks, and a defined median will help calm traffic, and make this a more desirable and accessible recreational area.

Existing Conditions

Proposed Improvements:

Stamped concrete median to replace existing median at school entrance to calm traffic

Park gateway defined with signage at corner of Osgood Avenue/ Slater Road

New stamped crosswalks to improve access, and rectangular rapid-flashing beacon at park entrance

Sidewalk gap filled between Elam Street and Corbin Avenue for pedestrian connectivity

Existing bicycle lanes improve bicycle connectivity

Street trees for shade and aesthetics

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Featured Project 3 Concept

3

Allen Street (Oak to Brighton Streets) This segment of Allen Street is the home to several eating establishments and other neighborhood businesses. Currently, there is an ill-defined business district, poor aesthetics for many business frontage, and lack of a consistent streetscape. This provides a poor pedestrian environment because vehicular speeds are high, sidewalks are in poor condition, there are few safe crossings, and the lack of defined driveways and curbing is a safety concern. The recommended solutions will slow traffic, create a more cohesive neighborhood. The improvements will be part of a larger $5.5M Allen Street corridor project in process, from Oak to Stanley Street, to improve the drainage and the sanitary sewer systems.

Existing Conditions: Allen Street showing poor sidewalks, lack of pedestrian crossings, excessive curb cuts, lack of defined neighborhood business center, and poor aesthetics

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Proposed Improvements: •

New sidewalks and additional crosswalks for improved access and traffic calming

Eliminate excessive curb cuts with defined driveway aprons for safety

Brick banding to delineate commercial from residential area

Business frontage improvements; landscape buffering and ornamental fencing

Streetscape elements: trees, ornamental lighting; public art plaza and benches

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Featured Project 4 Concept

4 ESTIMATED COST: $2.3M

39

North Street (Sexton to Stanley Street) North Street is part of the City’s North-Oak Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ), a lower income area typified by a dense development patters, high pedestrian activity, lower vehicle ownership and a higher transit usage. Willow Street Park and its adjacent businesses and services near North Street act as the neighborhood hub. North Street has some pedestrian deficiencies such as a lack of crosswalks, lack of pedestrian amenities that support public gathering, a lack of trees and streetscape, and a need for intersection geometry realignment at Stanley Street. The proposed improvements will creater a safer and more inviting environment.


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Existing conditions on North Street showing wide intersection at Stanley Street, lack of traffic calming curb extensions at pedestrian crossings, and general lack of trees and streetscape

Proposed Improvements: •

Crosswalks, bump-outs with benches and planters at major intersections to shorten crossing distance and enhance pedestrian safety

Curb bump-out to aid in traffic calming proposed at church crossing to parking lot

New shoulder striping east and west bound along entire length of North Street

Modified intersection at Stanley Street to improve traffic flow and safety

Streetscape Elements: brick banding with tree wells and ornamental lighting

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Featured Project 5 Concept

5

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Myrtle Street Improvements Myrtle Street is an area nestled between the core downtown area and Broad Street’s Little Poland neighborhood. Myrtle Street is already home to some of the City’s more prominent businesses and private employers such as Stanley Black & Decker and Rich Foods. It is also scheduled to be home of a new Energy and Innovation Park which involves an estimated $1 Billion energy and data center that is expected to create up to 3,000 direct and indirect job over the course of the next two decades. Residential development and redevelopment on Myrtle Street is also occurring, and as such there will be a major influx of new construction and private investment. Despite this some components of Myrtle Street are in relatively poor condition such as the sidewalks, and the street itself looks fairly blighted. Complete Streets improvements on Myrtle Street would improve the street’s aesthetics and the overall pedestrian environment in a way complimentary to the other development activities occurring.


CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Existing Conditions

Myrtle Street and Burritt Street Intersection

Myrtle Street and Celebration Way Intersection

Sidewalk in front of Mt. Pleasant

Proposed Improvements:

Sidewalk facing towards the intersection of Myrtle Street and High Street

Improved aesthetics and streetscape

New sidewalks & curbing

ADA compliant crosswalks and signage

New traffic signal

Ornamental lighting

Sidewalk going up Bond Street from Myrtle Street

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CREATING VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AND SHARED SPACES

Actions √ Engage the public in conceptual level drawings for Arch, Allen, North Streets and Osgood Avenue √ Seek funding for the final preferred design √ Work with other City departments to identify areas for public space and public art √ Work with neighborhood businesses to determine interest in creating parklets or improved frontage to increase foot traffic

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Complete Streets play a vital role in supporting commercial businesses, stimulating private investment, and economic development in our City. As was stated in the 2013 Downtown Complete Streets Masterplan, “it is no coincidence that the most commercially successful and vibrant locations in downtown New Britain have roads right-sized for both pedestrians and vehicles, and also have the most attractive overall streetscape design.” Similarly, it’s no coincidence that in downtown New Britain there has been nearly $100M invested in new mixed-use and residential development and a growing list of new businesses that have followed in areas where the City invested in Complete Streets to support Transit-oriented Development (TOD). People want to live, work, and play in highly livable areas and the same Complete Streets approach that has supported TOD can also support other types of businesses and economic development, such as industrial parks and shopping centers. Improving safety, accessibility and connectivity for all users by right sizing roads and improving the streetscape in our business zones will attract investment and increase the livability and quality of life in those areas. 45

When a sidewalk is expanded the probability of having a storefront increases because there is more space for pedestrians, trees, street furniture and active public space – qualities that all benefit businesses.


SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LOCATION MAP Locations of Interest

Central Business District

Industrial Parks

Urban Industrial Zones

Shopping Centers

Transit Oriented Development Zones

Legend

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

VISION FOR THE FUTURE: POLICY AREA MATRIX

Credit: SLR Consulting

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

FUTURE LAND USE PLAN - POLICY AREA MAP

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

New Britain’s Mayor Erin Stewart often says, “People invest in communities that invest in themselves,” and to date this statement has certainly held true in New Britain. Working in support of the City’s 2021 Plan of Conservation and Development, the Roadmap identifies the general Locations of Interest that would benefit from an investment in Complete Streets to support existing businesses, attract new business and private development, help retain and create jobs, as well as spur further TOD in downtown and around the two CTfastrak Stations located outside of the downtown area.

Complete Streets efforts support all of the five planning themes in the updated Plan of Conservation and Development Report:

Live Grow Play Connect Sustain

Current Challenges •

Poor aesthetics and lack of streetscape

Excessive pavement width and very poor condition pavement

Poor condition sidewalks with no buffer to vehicle traffic

Driveway access control

Safety, access and connectivity issues for non-motorized users

Excessive vehicle speeds

Poor lighting

Complete Streets and Economic Development

-49

%

+40

%

10X Credit: SLR Consulting

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In New York City, expanding the pedestrian space in Union Square reduced commercial vacancies 49%. (ARUP, Cities Alive-Towards a Walking World, 2016) Research [commissioned by Living Streets] shows that making places better for walking can boost foot traffic and sales by up to 40%. (ARUP, Cities AliveTowards a Walking World, 2016) Creating more inviting places for new businesses increases a City’s tax base. Compact central business district properties yield ten times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development. (Smart Growth America, 2013)


SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CURRENT CHALLENGES

Four Star Plaza in need of improved pedestrian access through a crosswalk and signage. Ample parking could be converted to green space

Unattractive streetscape and unfavorable pedestrian environment for Aldi Shopping center on Farmington Avenue. Street trees and landscaping needed in plaza area

John Downey Drive commercial corridor experiences high speeds and has poor roadway, curbing and sidewalks conditions

Poor streetscape and pedestrian facilities for shopping/retail area by the CCSU campus and near the CTfastrak East Street Station

Excessive pavement width and crossing distance on John Downey Drive industrial park

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

DESIGN SOLUTIONS

Streetscape, lighting and pedestrian accommodation create a welcoming environment for business at Pinnacle Industrial Park on Alton Brooks Way

Improvements made at both small retail plazas, New Brite Plaza and Pinnacle Business Park show the types of improvements that can be made to support businesses and economic development. New Brite Plaza Improvements include improved pedestrian facilities, street lights and bicycle accommodation

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Goals Before

After

Use Complete Streets improvements to help support existing businesses and help stimulate new business development

Further capitalize on CTDOT’s $572M investment CTfastrak to spur transit-oriented development opportunities by the East Street and East Main Street BRT stations

Improve safety, accessibility and connectivity for alternative modes of transportation

Improve streetscape elements at neighborhood business areas

Improve aesthetics and public spaces around business areas

Design Solutions √ Streetscape enhancements and aesthetic improvements √ Road diet that significantly reduces pavement width √ Non-motorized user (bike & pedestrian) improvements including the addition of multi-use trail along one side of the road and new sidewalks with a vegetated buffer √ Safe crossings, signals √ Fill sidewalk network gaps √ Improved transit connections √ Traffic calming √ Lighting

Broad Street business access and safety improvements with new angled parking, curbing, sidewalks and street lighting

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Featured Project 1 Concept

1 ESTIMATED COST: $3.2M

John Downey Drive The John Downey Drive corridor is one of the largest commercial and light industrial centers in the City of New Britain. It is home to nearly 40 large buildings totaling over 1.6M square feet of commercial and light industrial real estate. At 1.25 miles in length and with an average daily traffic count of 6,700 vehicles in 2018, it is a busy thoroughfare that continues to grow as businesses along its length thrive and mature. The roadway, curbing and sidewalks along John Downey Drive are in poor conditions though, and the road is lacking amenities such as street trees, which would improve the road’s aesthetics as well as help calm traffic speeds. With the featured improvements, John Downey Drive will be transformed from a blighted, high-speed vehicular conduit into a linear park that will attract and retain businesses and create a cohesive destination. The City is in the process of securing a $3.2M grant through the State’s LOTCIP program to fund these improvements, and construction is currently scheduled for 2024.

Concept plan for John Downey Drive, which indicates existing issues and some of the proposed improvements

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Existing Conditions

Pictures show a variety of challenges and deficiencies such as inadequate pedestrian facilities, overly wide pavement section, inadequate bicycle infrastructure, and failed pavement condition

Proposed Improvements: •

Road diet, three lanes reduced to two in order to accommodate a buffered multi-use path on the east side and a grass shelf and sidewalk on the west side

New mid-block crossings

New street trees throughout corridor

Proposed Improvements

Sample preliminary plan for John Downey Drive which shows reduced pavement widths, side multi-use trail, protected mid-block crosswalk, and shelf area with street trees added for improved aesthetics and traffic calming

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

EXPANDING TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (TOD) As discussed, the Complete Streets efforts in downtown New Britain were initiated in direct response to CTDOT’s $500B CTfastrak Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This project constructed a 9.4 mile dedicated bus corridor between downtown New Britain and downtown Hartford and began operating in the spring of 2015. The City planned to improve the livability and walkability of downtown by following Complete Streets design principles, and to create an area desirable for Transit Orient Development (TOD) opportunities. To date this has been a very successful initiative, and an unprecedented amount of development is occurring in the areas around the City’s Complete Streets projects. Looking ahead, making Complete Streets investments around the additional CTfastrak Stations: East Main Street CTfastrak station (SR 174) and the East Street CTfastrak located near Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is the next priority to help encourage TOD around these stations as well. The City has conducted some transportation-related planning work in these areas through Mayor Stewart’s 2016 “Creating Hives of Activity” TOD Plan and the 2019 “East Main Street Bar Study.” Our work on TOD, supporting connectivity and fostering mixed-use development are a priority of the Roadmap.

East Street Corridor Study The City is seeking funding to study the East Street and East Main Street roadway corridors in greater detail. Staff recognizes the need to resolve corridor conflicts in the fine-grained last-mile connections that will strengthen TOD and mixed-use development sites. In addition, this investigation will further define, analyze and detail specific Complete Streets treatments at the nodes and along the corridor in order to adequately accept new land use paradigms surrounding the station sites. While these areas have been studied in broad concept, the prior studies did not provide clarity of detail and direction, particularly around the East Main Street and East Street CTfastrak stations. This study will vet concept station site TOD plans, make recommendations for implementation, and assess the corridor impacts of full build out. This data will contribute to overall corridor multimodal concepts and configurations.

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Area of Interest: East Street, East Main Street, and Fenn Road Corridor


SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Existing Conditions East Street, between CCSU and the East Street CTfastrak Station showing several deficiencies

Excessively wide crossing distances at intersections

Excess pavement and curb cuts, poor aesthetics and lack of streetscape

East Street CTfastrak Station

Gaps in the sidewalk network

Lack of defined driveway aprons

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Featured Project 2 Concept

2 ESTIMATED COST: >$12M

Route 174 (East Main Street) Realignment The City has long sought realignment of the East Main Street/East Street/ Newington Avenue intersections to resolve long-standing transportation, traffic congestion and safety concerns. The current alignment – a six-way intersection at two separate alignments with offset signals – operates very poorly. The short stretch of East Street leading to the intersection also experiences high rates of accidents. It is also particularly challenging for bicycles and pedestrians attempting to access the CTfastrak station to navigate the intersections and cross multiple travel lanes for continued access between Newington Avenue and East Main Street. The preferred realignment design involves relocating the Department of Public Works Yard at the corner of Harvard Street and East Main Street. The current yard no longer meets the needs of a modern Public Works operation, and for many reasons is in need of replacement. The City initiated a capital project to relocate this facility. The realignment for Route 174 not only improves traffic safety and pedestrian access to the CTfastrak station, but creates a significant and transformative TOD opportunity around the East Main Street Station. The preliminary engineering cost estimate for the roadway realignment was $12M in 2018. The estimated cost of relocating the City’s Public Works Yard is in excess of $20M and the City is evaluating funding options.

Existing East Main Street CTfastrak Station

Existing Conditions

a in St

57

Ea

Dept. of Public Works

st S

t

Ea s t M

N ewi n

ve gton A


SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Sample graphics from the “East Main Street BAR Grant” which was completed in 2019, and looked at TOD development potential around the East Main Street CTfastrak Station

Proposed road alignment improvements

Dept. of Public Works

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SUPPORTING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Actions √ Begin public outreach with business and property owners along John Downey Drive about the economic benefits of Complete Streets √ Complete John Downey Drive Complete Streets improvement project by the end of 2024 √ Complete the East Street and East Main Street Transportation Planning Corridor Study by the spring of 2023 √ Use the results of the East Street and East Main Street Transportation Planning Corridor Study to develop specific and highly fundable Complete Streets capital projects in these areas √ Identify other large and small business areas that could benefit from Complete Streets investments areas √ Work with other City departments and outside agencies to help encourage business friendly initiatives such as:

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Encouraging retail clusters on both sides of the street in designated commercial retail areas

Supporting businesses interested in outdoor dining space

Improving local bus access to retail locations

Promoting bicycle parking areas at businesses


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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

IMPROVING STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES Addressing the Complete Streets related needs on the stateowned roads and bridges within New Britain is arguably the most challenging issue the City faces related to Complete Streets. Forty-two miles, (19%) of New Britain’s 220 miles of roadways are state-owned. These arterials are highly visible and carry high volumes with averages ranging between 6,000 to 14,000 vehicles per day. State roads like West Main Street (SR 555), East Main Street (SR 174), South Main Street (SR 71), and Stanley Street (SR 71) each serve as primary arterials to downtown and around the City. These corridors also provide the primary access to many residential areas, and most of our business and retail areas. Because these heavily traveled arterials often serve as gateways and vital transportation corridors for thousands of people daily, how they look and function significantly informs people’s opinions about New Britain. Unfortunately, many of the state roads do not look or function optimally and are in need of improvements. The City also faces issues on bridges (highway overpasses), such as pedestrian safety, accessibility, and connectivity due to inadequate pedestrian facilities. The most common issue is narrow sidewalks across long spans adjacent to noisy, high-speed roads with narrow shoulders creating a stressful environment for pedestrians. 2 61

The issue is further complicated in winter months when these sidewalks are used to provide storage for snow. A list of priority locations, common challenges, and design solutions for state-owned roadways have been identified. In addition, three conceptual project renderings have been developed to provide examples of how improvements could be implemented. While similar challenges exist on city-owned streets, these challenges are substantially more difficult to address on state roads due to the state’s jurisdiction on these streets, and due to a lack of grant funding for City improvements on state roads. The overall goals are to improve the functionality, safety, and aesthetics of these roadways and bridges. Working in close coordination with the CTDOT is critical to addressing these challenges and implementing the needed design solutions.


STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS LOCATION MAP State Road Priority Locations

Feature Project 1 Stanley St/Hartford Rd SR 71

• West Main (SR 555 east of Corbin Ave.) • West Main (SR 372 west of Corbin Ave.) • South Main St (SR 71) • Elm Street Franklin Square & Truman Overpass (SR 71) • Stanley Street - CCSU area & Stanley/Hartford Intersection (SR 71) • Newington Ave. and East Main St. (SR 174) • East Street (SR 175)

Feature Project 2 West Main St SR 555

Feature Project 3 Harry Truman Overpass SR 71

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STATE-OWNED STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS ROADWAYS AND AND BRIDGES BRIDGES

CURRENT CHALLENGES The following pictures show examples of some of the challenges faced on state roads within the City. Most of the challenges shown are common problems that occur on the State Road Priority Locations. Current conditions present safety issues for both motorists and pedestrians, such as lack of pedestrian signals at intersections, excessively wide intersections, and lack of curbing. Because state roads intersect with many major neighborhood and business areas, accessibility and connectivity of the network are significant challenges to improving the walkability of the City. In addition to the sidewalk gaps highlighted, there are long stretches where there is no place to cross a state road safely, especially at retail areas. All of these challenges combined result in a low level of comfort for pedestrians to walk along and across these corridors.

SR 174 Corridor State Route 174, which includes both East Main Street and Newington Avenue, has many of the issues shown here.

Newington Ave - Lack of curbing, non-standard shelf, poor sidewalk

This photo on SR 372, West Main Street, captures the common challenges for stateowned roadways: non-compliant driveway curb cuts which pose traffic safety issues, poor pedestrian facilities, and lack of streetscape

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East Main Street - Lack of curbing and curb reveal, a non-compliant bituminous snow shelf area and unattractive streetscape


STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

SR 71 Corridor State Route 71 traverses New Britain from south to north, changing names several times, from South Main Street, Elm Street, Martin Luther King Drive, Stanley Street, and then turning northeast to become Hartford Road. The following photos show challenges throughout the corridor.

Hartford and Stanley Intersection – Overly wide, poorly aligned intersection and lack of pedestrian facilities

Hartford Rd, RT 9 Overpass - Narrow sidewalks and vegetation blocking pedestrians

Intersection of SR 71/RT 9 - Lack of sidewalks at West Farms Mall area

Hartford Rd showing wide intersections and no crosswalks for pedestrians

South Main Street - Bituminous shelf, lack of curb reveal, tripping hazard

Stanley Street - Excessive curb cut and nonstandard driveway apron

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

SR 372 Corridor State Route 372 traverses New Britain from west to east as West Main Street and then turns south at the Corbin Avenue intersection and continues as Corbin Avenue. The West Main Street section is of primary interest for improvements along with the short section of the RT 72 Overpass.

Corbin Rd (RT 72 overpass) - Narrow sidewalks and a poor pedestrian environment

West Main Street (west of Corbin Avenue) - Challenges include sidewalk gaps, lack of sidewalks on either side of the street, non-compliant snow shelf and curbing, excessively wide driveway aprons, and an unattractive streetscape

West Main St/Corbin Intersection - Excessively wide intersection and crossing distances for pedestrians

SR 372 at RT 72 on-ramp - Pedestrian network gap

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Corbin intersection with Monroe and Lincoln Streets – poor and confusing intersection alignment


STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Current Challenges

Goals

Traffic & Roadway related Issues:

Improve functionality and aesthetics

Have state roads comply with City’s current design standards and streetscape design elements

Speeding

Overly wide roads and intersections

Old and non-connected traffic signals (City and State-owned)

Improve pedestrian safety and connectivity

Inconsistent lanes, overly wide or excessive number of lanes

Improve safety for vehicles

Inconsistent shoulder widths & lack of shoulders

Improve safety and connectivity for cyclists through intersections

Inconsistent and non-conforming streetscape elements:

Multiple issues related to curbing (type, reveal)

Snow shelf treatments

Driveway aprons

Excessively wide curb cuts

Lack of vertical elements like street trees

Poor aesthetics

Narrow sidewalks over long spans on State-owned bridges

Pedestrian Safety Access & Connectivity Issues:

Gaps in sidewalk network

Poor condition sidewalks

Non-compliant curb ramps

Lack of pedestrian signals at intersections

Excessively wide driveway aprons

Poor connectivity

DESIGN SOLUTIONS There are many design solutions available to address the challenges and meet the goals for improvements to state-owned roadways. While the general Complete Streets approach and typical City standards addressed in the Design Standards, Solutions and Palette section will guide improvements, the final designs will need to be context sensitive and consider the function of a particular roadway segment. The need to accommodate high volumes of traffic will remain a priority. As the City does not typically locate its bicycle network on state roads, with the exception of providing connections to the downtown, schools, and parks, the focus will be on safety of our bicycle network where it crosses state roads.

General issues:

Limited grant funding opportunities

Bisected neighborhoods

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Design Solutions √ Improve overall aesthetics and functionality

General Solutions CONTROLLED ACCESS/CURB CUT

CURB REVEAL

TRUNCATED DOME AT ADA RAMP

CONSISTENT SHOULDER WIDTH

√ Meet streetscape and roadways design standards √ Utilize standard streetscape elements, such as curb types and shelf treatments √ Improve intersection geometry √ Implement road diets and reconfigure travel lanes where effective √ Shorten crossing distances with bump-outs and/or refuge islands √ Improve traffic signal connectivity and timing √ Provide safer pedestrian crossings √ Narrow and/or remove travel lanes √ Control access/reduce curb cuts/ combine driveways √ Add vertical elements, like street trees, where appropriate √ Provide appropriate shoulder widths √ Evaluate on-street parking 67


STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Featured Project 1 Concept The City is working on the following three featured projects. The featured design concepts could be used to address some of the current challenges faced.

Stanley Street and Hartford Road (SR 71) Intersection

1

This project involves addressing the poorly aligned intersection of Stanley Street and Hartford Road (SR 71). This intersection involves very wide pavement widths which impede both pedestrian and bicycle connectivity. Addressing these issues is a priority for safety reasons, but also because this intersection serves as a gateway into the City and Hartford Road serves as an important pedestrian connection to the West Farms Mall area job center. The City recently invested nearly $1M in sidewalk improvements along Hartford Road to help address this issue, but this intersection remains as an impediment to this connectivity. The City completed a Road Safety Audit in 2017, and has been working with CTDOT to fund improvements to this intersection as a capital improvement project.

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Featured Project 2 Concept

2

West Main Street (SR 555) (Curtis to Liberty Street) This project area involves a section of West Main Street (SR 555) located just west of downtown New Britain. It contains a mix of housing, retail and small businesses along an important gateway into the downtown. This section provides a good example of the typical issues faced on state roads and shows how the small improvements identified could have a major impact. The major issues include the confusing intersection alignment of West Main, Curtis, and Vine Streets; lack of convenient crosswalks, lack of curb reveal, and several non-conforming driveway aprons and snow shelves. There are general poor aesthetics with a lack of streetscape vegetation and defined business frontage. The proposed improvements would greatly increase pedestrian and vehicular safety while improving aesthetics for local businesses. Proposed Improvements

ESTIMATED COST: $1.2M

Existing Conditions

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Proposed Improvements: •

Defined driveway aprons and curbing

Widened sidewalks with lawn shelf and street trees

Intersection realignment at Vine and West Main Street to provide T configuration for traffic safety

Traffic and pedestrian signal improvements

New crosswalk at Vine and West Main Street for access to existing market

Modified curb radius at intersection of Curtis and West Main Street for traffic safety

Street trees and new public open space

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Featured Project 3 Concept

3 ESTIMATED COST: TBD

Harry Truman Overpass (SR 71) (Chestnut to East Main Street) This project involves the Harry Truman Overpass (SR 71) over SR 72 in the downtown area and provides a sample design approach for accommodating all users on state-owned bridge overpasses. The Truman Overpass currently consists of three lanes in each direction with low comfort pedestrian environment, no bicycle accommodation and poor aesthetics. In this low-cost road diet, one travel lane is taken in each direction to provide buffered bicycle lanes, and new concrete planters and trees improve the aesthetics along the median. The buffered bicycle lanes provide new accommodation for cyclists and a more comfortable environment for pedestrians. The vertical and horizontal elements also serve to calm traffic speeds.

Existing Conditions

Proposed Improvements Raised Planters Bike Lanes

Road Diet

Proposed Improvements: •

Road diet to eliminate outermost lane on both sides

Larger raised planters with shade trees in median to replace existing concrete planters

Buffered bike lanes in each direction provide new bicycle network connectivity and additional pedestrian buffer

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

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STATE-OWNED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES

Actions The City has identified the following actions it will be taking to help make state roads in New Britain more complete: √ Improve communication and coordination with CTDOT and its consultant liaisons on their planned state roadway improvements during project’s early concept stages √ Implement Featured Projects One and Two √ Continue to work with CTDOT to implement the intersection improvements project at Stanley Street and Hartford Road √ Specifically work with CTDOT to improve pedestrian safety and access and reduce pedestrian related accidents √ Develop design schematics that address the deficiencies for the other Priority State Road Locations identified √ Work with the CRCOG region and CTDOT to establish buy-in and funding on identified capital projects √ Work with other City departments to help ensure capital projects on State Roads meet overall City’s planning and economic development goals

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IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT Improving the pedestrian environment means creating an environment where people are comfortable and able to walk or access transit to key destinations such as grocery stores, schools, work sites, libraries, parks, or health care facilities. Improving the walkability of a city means focusing on building or improving the system of sidewalks, trails, crosswalks, ramps, signals, lighting, and overall streetscape so that walking is a preferred mode of transportation and gets people to where they want to go safely. In areas of New Britain where there are low percentages of car ownership this is particularly important, as residents are dependent on sidewalks and transit for transportation. Furthermore, many New Britain children walk to school each day, and rely on sidewalks to arrive there safely. The downtown area is another example where accommodating pedestrians at a high level is critical for mobility as well as livability and economic development. Sidewalks are fundamental to the transportation system in a community. They are the arteries of the pedestrian network and the primary conduit for pedestrian mobility. Not only are sidewalks critical for community connectivity, but they also support physical activity and access to recreation. Ideally, a robust pedestrian network should have sidewalks that support 75

the street context, provide a continuous network to key destinations, and be connected with crosswalks, ramps and signals at major roadway intersections, or as warranted at mid-block locations. They should be safe, accessible, comfortable, and attractive facilities that are well-maintained. The aesthetics of the streetscape adjacent to the sidewalk, such as street trees, street furniture or lighting, greatly improves safety by providing shade and a buffer between pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic, thereby improving the pedestrian experience. New Britain’s challenges in improving the pedestrian environment throughout the City are significant; therefore, the Roadmap lays out the actions moving forward to heighten the focus on this vital transportation mode. The overarching goals are to improve safety and connectivity of the pedestrian network. Better connecting routes to public transit and other key destinations will greatly improve the transportation options, quality of life, and the overall livability of the City.


IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

CITYWIDE SIDEWALK NETWORK New Britain maintains 200 miles of sidewalk and over 600 intersections.

New Britain experiences a higher % of pedestrian-related crashes than most CT communities

54% of older adults said they would walk or ride a bike if the built environment improved. (AARP)

Locations of Interest •

Areas connecting to education centers

Elementary, Middle and High Schools

CCSU

Areas connecting to businesses

Neighborhood retail

Commercial

Areas connecting to public housing

Areas connecting to transit

Areas connecting to parks and recreational areas

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IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

CURRENT CHALLENGES New Britain has a dense street network with over 200 miles of public sidewalks and over 600 intersections, most of which accommodate ADA compliant pedestrian crossings. Unfortunately, the City ranks high in the state for pedestrian-related crashes. The challenges are significant and include addressing pedestrian crash locations and controlling speed through high traffic areas; addressing deterioration of older sidewalks; identifying critical network gaps for new sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals; maintaining visible crosswalks, and identifying areas that should have improved lighting for safety. In addition, issues such as heaving tree roots creating tripping hazards, and winter hazards such as snow and ice further compound the challenges. For all these reasons, keeping the City’s pedestrian network in a state of good repair all year long is extremely challenging and costly. Given these challenges and the size of the City’s pedestrian network, the cost of repairs is the biggest challenge. Improving sidewalks, even along one property’s frontage, can cost more than $10,000, and there are over 13,500 residential properties. In the densely populated urban areas of the City, nearly all of the properties have sidewalks along their frontages. The City has a robust Annual Sidewalk Repair Program that focuses on maintaining and improving our sidewalk network and prioritizes high pedestrian traffic areas, such as around schools and low-income housing. In addition, sidewalk improvements are included in all grant-funded roadway projects and required of private development projects. However, because of the cost of repairs and replacements, the extent of our network, and our goals to improve multi-modal opportunities for all users, the current funding allocated each year to sidewalk repairs and grants cannot keep pace with the growing demand. The City funds that are allocated to sidewalk repair work compete with other infrastructure maintenance and repair needs, such as annual street paving, stormwater, water and sanitary sewer utility repairs and upgrades, which are assigned to the City by state and federal regulators. 77

Looking forward as the City works to broaden its Complete Streets improvements, funding will be sought to conduct a Citywide Pedestrian Safety Audit. The Pedestrian Safety Audit will further assist efforts to identify and address high crash pedestrian locations and identify and prioritize critical network gaps, highrisk pedestrian crossing locations, ADA compliant curb ramps and signal needs, and areas with inadequate street lighting.

Current Challenges •

Size of the pedestrian network

High pedestrian crash rates

Poor sidewalk conditions

Gaps in sidewalk network

Lack of crosswalks or ADA curb ramps at key destinations (shopping centers, parks)

Long crossing distances with no refuge

Unsafe roadway conditions

Lack of curb definition on roadways

Excessive curb cuts

Poor site lines

Lack of bus stop access and amenities (benches, lighting, shelters) and signage

Vehicle speeds


IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

Current Challenges

Vance Elementary School showing the need for crosswalks from surrounding neighborhoods to allow students to walk to school safely

Sidewalk gaps and lack of ADA compliant curb ramps

Lack of sidewalks or shared use paths

Pedestrian crossing mid-block where there is no crosswalk at the intersection

Lack of crosswalks for safe entry from neighborhoods to parks

Long crossing distances at intersections creates an uncomfortable and unsafe pedestrian environment

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IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

Managing the City’s Pedestrian Network Improvements to the City’s sidewalk and overall pedestrian network are made primarily though the following mechanisms: 1. Grant Funded Capital Projects – Public Works Engineering Division manages millions of dollars of streets, traffic, and non-motorized user grant-funded capital projects annually that address pedestrian crash locations, fill network gaps or generally embed upgrades to the sidewalks, crosswalks, signals, and lighting. The City recently upgraded several pedestrian signals and crosswalks through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Traffic Signal Project 2. Private Development Projects – Businesses, property owners and developers are typically required to upgrade their sidewalk and handicapped ramp infrastructure. 3. City Ordinance – Property owners are charged with the repair and maintenance of sidewalks along their property frontages, and for seasonal maintenance like clearing snow. 4. Sidewalk Repair Program – This multi-faceted program evaluates the condition of sidewalks citywide, employs ranking criteria for prioritizing repairs, and oversees the physical repair of sidewalks.

Extensive research has found that residents of walkable communities are associated with measurably higher physical fitness levels, lower likelihoods of obesity and traffic crash risk, and fewer harmful air pollutants per capita than residents of more automobile-oriented communities (Frank and Ravage 2008).

Poor sidewalk conditions, lack of adequate curbing, and tripping hazards impact the mobility of pedestrians.

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IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

Goals

Design Solutions

Design Solutions

√ Improve sidewalks (condition, gaps, size, obstructions)

IMPROVE ACCESS AND CONNECTIONS TO PARKS

Improve safety and connectivity of the pedestrian network Improve walkability for trips under a mile for general population, such as to bus stops or neighborhood amenities

√ Improve connections to key destinations with safe crosswalks and ADA curb ramps

Improve walkability to schools within one mile

√ Shorten crossing distances

Improve access and use of transit

√ Pedestrian-friendly signal timing

Curb extensions at crosswalks

Intersection redesign

Shorten crossing distances

Refuge islands

Provide crosswalks

Pinchpoints

Improve safety features such as lighting

Improve ADA accessibility

Reduce vehicle speed to improve safety for all users

Reduce pedestrian/vehicle accidents

Create more pedestrian nodes of activity around the City

Seek more investment in the sidewalk improvement program

BEFORE

√ Enhance bus stops with crosswalks, shelters, benches, and signage

AFTER

√ Curbing and controlled access √ Lighting √ Traffic calming measures

Before and After showing intersection geometry changes and a new crosswalk that improves access to Walnut Park along West Main Street

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IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

DESIGN SOLUTIONS NEW OR IMPROVED SIDEWALKS

New sidewalks along Slater Road help fill network gaps

IMPROVE ACCOMMODATION AND ACCESS TO TRANSIT

Provision of bus stop shelter, lighting, and streetscape on Myrtle Street

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BUMP-OUTS

Curb extensions shorten the crossing distances and make pedestrians more visible

STREETSCAPING

Street trees play a vital role in providing shade and a buffer from motor vehicles

SIGNALS

New mid-block crosswalk, signage, and ramps at CCSU will improve pedestrian visibility and safety

HIGH VISIBILITY CROSSWALKS, RAMPS, AND PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS

Columbus Blvd. pedestrian safety improvements through CMAQ Traffic Signal System Project


IMPROVING THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT

Actions √ Identify network gaps in priority areas and prioritize improvements

Prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk improvements based on ranking criteria and funding eligibility

Prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk improvements within one and a half mile of Middle Schools, and two miles for High Schools

Prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk improvements around public housing, transit, and amenities

√ Work with CTtransit to improve pedestrian safety, access, and connectivity throughout the bus route system √ Identify where speed is a safety concern (utilize SEE, CLICK, FIX and Complete Streets Public Comment Tool public reporting platforms) √ Employ appropriate traffic calming measures, where deemed warranted √ Seek funding to conduct a Citywide Pedestrian Safety Audit

A pedestrian safety audit would identify and prioritize pedestrian-related safety issues such as critical sidewalk gaps based on demand, high-risk or missing pedestrian crossing locations and signal, site line obstructions, existence and need for ADA compliant curb ramps, and adequacy of existing street lighting.

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY BICYCLE FRIENDLY

TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY In addition to the health, environmental and recreational aspects of cycling, bicycling is an important alternative mode of transportation for commuters and for many who do not own a vehicle. Our vision is for New Britain to be a truly bicycle-friendly city. Achieving this means going beyond planning, engineering, and a focus on providing infrastructure. Building a safe and connected network is only one aspect of this effort. The success of this vision will be on the strength of our partnerships and efforts to be inclusive, build a culture of bicycling, and educate and encourage all potential users. Fortunately, we have strong partners and advocates such as Bike New Britain, Bike-Walk Connecticut, and New Britain Roots. Established community events foster bicycle safety educations, including Discover Bike New Britain and our Annual Bike Rodeo. Significant advances in developing a bicycle culture and constructing a multi-phased on and off-road bicycle network have been achieved as shown on the Bicycle Connectivity map. The advanced phases of the bicycle network and safety improvements identified in the Bicycle Connectivity and Traffic Calming Plan continue to be implemented. For instance, the Stanley Loop Trail will be completed soon and will connect to the new Ella Grasso on-road bicycle lanes. 83

The Beeline Trail will add a five-mile multi-use path beside the CTfastrak bus-only facility from Downtown New Britain Station to the Newington Junction Station. Striping bicycle lanes, where possible, has become standard practice during general roadway projects, and work is advancing to improve awareness with signage and to provide amenities such as secure and convenient bicycle parking. Despite these significant strides in advancing the culture and building a connected network, there is still a long way to go to make bicycling attractive to more users. To increase bicycling for recreation and as a transportation option, New Britain must better understand its potential riders and continue to evolve its facilities to fit their comfort level and needs. Therefore, the focus of the Roadmap goals and actions are to advance our partnerships, further emphasize education and encouragement, improve the safety, connectivity, and amenities of our existing network, and to continue to upgrade facilities to be more comfortable and accessible to a wider array of potential users. We will utilize the League of American Bicyclists 5E framework (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Engineering, Education, Encouragement: and Evaluation & Planning) to maintain focus on building an inclusive culture.


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

IMPROVED BICYCLE CONNECTIVITY Regional Connectivity Regional bicycle connectivity efforts are underway through the Gap Closure Trail Study – a feasibility study to evaluate how to close the gap from the Plainville to Southington in the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT)/ East Coast Greenway and connect to New Britain’s bicycle network and CTfastrak stations.

Locations of Interest •

Existing Bicycle Network

Alexander Road

Ella Grasso Boulevard

John Downey Drive

Stanley Quarter Park and AW Stanley Park (The Stanley Loop Trail)

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

CURRENT CHALLENGES There are multiple challenges to creating a bicycle network that is comfortable and inviting for a larger segment of the population. Creating facilities that are comfortable, well-connected, and safe means understanding our riders’ needs, identifying key gaps in the network and prioritizing safety improvements. Currently, only a small segment of the population is willing to bicycle along on-road bicycle lanes, especially in an urban environment. It is stressful as a cyclist and as a motorist trying to avoid any conflict with a cyclist. The challenge is understanding our community needs, both motorists and potential riders, so we can create an onroad bicycle network that is appealing to a wider population. We know that cycling routes that are contained within parks, such as the Stanley Loop Trail, provide the highest level of comfort and least stress. The next best solution is to physically separate facilities from the roadway where space allow and where the investment makes sense to benefit users. However, finding the physical space within the existing right-of-way for separated facilities, especially with competing interests such as parking is particularly challenging. Other challenges include safety, maintaining our facilities and filling network gaps. General visibility and awareness of cyclists on the road must be heightened. The safety of cyclists, particularly as they move through intersections and make turning movements is essential. The work of identifying and filling network gaps as well as maintaining a growing system will be a continual challenge.

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Providing a robust bicycle network provides people healthy options for commuting to work

Current Challenges •

Understanding our community needs

Developing events and tools that educate and encourage cycling

Allocating space in the right-of-way for on-road or separated facilities

Comfort level of existing network

Gaps in existing network

Intersection safety within existing network

Awareness of cyclists on-road

Maintenance of current network (fading paint)


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

New Britain’s efforts to become a truly bicycle-friendly city will be guided by the League of American Bicyclists 5E’s Equity, Diversity

& Inclusion (EDI): A bicycle-friendly America for everyone

Engineering:

Education:

Encouragement:

Creating safe and convenient places to ride and park

Giving people of all ages and abilities the skills and confidence to ride

Creating a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling

Evaluation & Planning:

Planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option

Partnership, Education and Encouragement New Britain will further our collaboration with Bike New Britain, Bike-Walk Connecticut, New Britain Roots, and others and build upon established community events such as Discover New Britain and our Annual Bike Rodeo.

Hardware City Bike Tour

Due to its accomplishments, New Britain has achieved the Bronze status rating from The League of American Bicyclists as well as recommendations to achieve the next level of Silver status Central Park Bike to Work Day

New Britain Bike Rodeo

Bike New Britain Headquarters

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY BICYCLE FRIENDLY

DESIGN SOLUTIONS

The following site-specific and generic design solutions are being pursued or are available to improve bicycle accommodation, safety, and connectivity.

INTERSECTION SAFETY TREATMENT

Intersection treatment will improve the bicyclist environment

PROVIDE MULTI-MODAL ACCESS AND ACCOMMODATION

SEPARATED BICYCLE LANE

Address network gaps by providing new facilities during annual paving and striping program

A separated bike lane is an exclusive space for bicyclists along or within a roadway that is physically separated from motor vehicles with vertical and horizontal elements. Separation can be achieved with a variety of vertical elements including raised medians, flexible delineator posts, parked vehicles, or by a change in elevation between the bicycle lane and the roadway. Separated facilities provide a greater perception of safety and are much more appealing to a broader population that might not typically cycle in a city. OFF-ROAD MULTI-USE FACILITIES

All CTfastrak buses are equipped to carry bicycles and bike racks are available to encourage and accommodate cyclists. Source: http://www.gapclosurestudy.com/

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Physically separated bicycle facilities provide the highest level of comfort for riders

PAINTING AND IMPROVING VISIBILITY OF BICYCLE LANES


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE BICYCLE-FRIENDLY FRIENDLY

Goals ALLOCATE SPACE FOR BICYCLE ACCOMMODATION SIGNAGE TO BUILD AWARENESS WITHIN THE EXISTING RIGHT-OF-WAY

Understand our community needs

Strengthen our partnership with advocacy groups

Create a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling

Provide a safe and connected bicycle network

Improve access to key destinations and amenities

Maintain and strengthen our bicycle network

PROVIDE BICYCLE PARKING

Design Solutions √ Physically separated bicycle lanes or multi-use paths √ Road diets to accommodate buffered bicycle lanes √ Increase on-road bicycle lane widths and buffers √ Painted bicycle lanes √ Intersection improvements √ Share the Road and other signage √ Wayfinding signage 88


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Featured Project 1 Concept

1 ESTIMATED COST: $5.6M

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Ella Grasso Boulevard As New Britain has improved bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity, we have realized the importance of providing physical separation between vulnerable users like bicyclists and pedestrians from motorized users. Multi-use trails that provide physical separation from vehicles simply accommodate a much wider range of users and address the community’s transportation, health, connectivity and safety needs at a far greater level than roadside sidewalks and on-road bike lanes. The proposed improvements along Ella Grasso Boulevard, adjacent the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Campus, would go a long way toward the City’s goal of achieving a connected and separated trail network for non-motorized users. The project transforms the Boulevard from a four-lane, divided road to a two-lane road with a side multi-use trail that closes a 1.25 mile gap between the Stanley Loop Trail and the 4.9 mile CTfastrak multi-use trail between downtown New Britain and Newington. This new trail will help address transportation equity needs in New Britain by improving the connectivity, safety, and usability of our transportation system for non-motorized users.


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Existing Conditions

Proposed Improvements

Proposed Improvements: •

Physically separated, multiuse trail to improve safety and connectivity for vulnerable nonmotorized users like pedestrians and bicyclists

Improved access to the CCSU campus, CTfastrak, Stanley Quarter Park, AW Stanley Park and the West Farms Mall employment area

Street trees for shade and aesthetics 90


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Featured Project 2 Concept

2 ESTIMATED COST: $825,000

Alexander Road Alexander Road is nearing the end of its service life due to its cracked and aging pavement. This presents an opportunity to implement Complete Streets and traffic calming improvements. Although fully separated bicycle facilities are not possible in this instance, the City can still improve conditions for cyclists as part of the roadway upgrade. The Complete Streets elements will start with narrowing travel lanes through restriping and providing wider shoulder areas for parking and bike lanes. Street trees will be added along the entire street to provide for a more closed in feel for traffic calming. Traffic Calming elements also include mini-roundabouts at Nachilly Drive and Country Club Road. Mini-roundabouts have been shown to not only reduce traffic speeds but improve the aesthetics and character of the neighborhoods. They can be constructed to be cyclist friendly and low maintenance, while maintaining access for emergency and large vehicles.

Proposed Mini-Roundabout at Country Club Road

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Existing Conditions

Proposed Improvements

Alexander Road Before and After showing narrowed lanes and bicycle accommodation

Proposed Improvements: •

Mini-roundabouts at Nachilly Drive and Country Club Road

Lane diet, narrowed travel lanes

New bicycle lanes and sharrows

Limited on-street parking on one side

Addition of vertical elements/street trees

Proposed Mini-Roundabout at Nachilly Drive

Updated drainage structure tops

Mill and pavement entirety for Alexander Road 92


TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Featured Project 3 Concept

3 ESTIMATED COST: $4.5M

Beeline Trail The Beeline Trail involves a primarily off-road multi-use trail whose alignment was developed as part of CRCOG’s Gap Closure Study in 2018. The Beeline Trail will connect the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and East Coast Greenway in Plainville to the 4.9 mile CTfastrak multi-use trail beginning in downtown New Britain. The 2018 Gap Closure Study was part of a regional initiative to close critical gaps in the state’s off-road trail network. It envisions alternative transportation options that promote a healthy lifestyle and provide convenient and attractive options for those who are hesitant to choose on-road cycling due to the perceived danger. The limited access design, with few road crossings, minimizes the exposure to vehicle conflicts. The trail will be 10’ wide, and the planned alignment mostly utilizes the Route 72 Right-of-Way. The New Britain section of the Beeline Trail involves three phases of construction. The City has secured grant funding for the construction of the first two phases and the design of the third phase. Beeline Trail Full Trail Alignment from the Gap Closure Study

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Existing Conditions Preliminary Mural Design for Beeline Trail

Phase 1 of the Beeline Trail will come out at the Lincoln/ West Main Street intersection shown here before proposed artwork mural.

Proposed Improvements: •

Dedicated 10-foot off-road multiuse trail

45% fully off-road trail, 55% roadside trail

Reduction of roadway width on Columbus Boulevard

Streetscape elements include brick pavers, street trees and pocket park on Columbus Boulevard

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TRULY BECOMING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY

Actions Looking forward the goals for improving the bicyclists’ environment are: √ Complete identified projects – This includes completing important bike connectivity projects in process such as the Stanley Loop Trail and Beeline Trails. √ Improve intersection safety - Focus will be on making the existing bike network safer at intersections (ex. Bicycle lanes painted green through Main Street intersections). √ Define target users – Target users, their comfort level, and needs for riding our bicycle network need to be better understood to increase use. √ Increase Connectivity – This will involve analyzing areas where we can close gaps or improve connections in the network in our networks. This could involve adding new bicycle lanes or off-road trails to make important connections. Opportunities are identified during the annual paving and striping program. √ Improve existing bicycle facilities – Existing facilities can be improved by upgrading to a safer more preferred facility, like converting an on-road bicycle lane to a buffered or physically separated bicycle lane. It could also involve adding better route signage, bicycle parking, or widening shoulders where possible. √ Establish a maintenance plan – Existing and planned facilities need a specific programmed maintenance plan for activities such as sweeping, restriping, or repainting markings. √ Seek Silver Status with the League of American Bicyclists - In 2015 New Britain first achieved Bronze status, and retained Bronze status when it applied again in 2019. We will continue to review the recommendations and seek Silver status.

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

ENHANCING GATEWAYS Gateways are entrances, access points and transition zones. They create first impressions, set the tone, and provide an opportunity to define our neighborhoods. Gateways assist in directing visitors to our major destinations and attractions. They signal a change in community context, like entering a historic district, neighborhood, public plaza, or transitioning from a higher speed, auto-oriented arterial to a slower speed local road that may lead through a pedestrian-oriented business zone. In this regard, gateways are important Complete Streets features because they are opportunities to signal a behavior change for drivers to reduce speed such as in high pedestrian areas around parks and schools. The goal of the Roadmap is to help improve the aesthetics and function of our gateways through the use of both Complete Streets design elements and other mechanisms, such as improved landscaping and wayfinding signage, and by doing so help define the City’s unique brand.

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

CITY GATEWAYS Locations of Interest Featured Locations •

All entrances and access points to the City

Neighborhood entrances

Points of Interest entrances

Other Potential Locations: •

Columbus Boulevard both East and West of downtown

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

CURRENT CHALLENGES

Lack of prominent signage entering New Britain on West Main Street

An example of no demarcation of entering the City

City access point from Newington Ave showing poor signage and aesthetics

Inconsistent signage entering New Britain

Unmarked Entrance to Willow Brook Park and New Britain Stadium

Litter and poor aesthetics at this City Gateway

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

Current Challenges •

Lack of prominent and consistent signage marking City entrances, access points, and destinations

Neighborhoods entrances lack definition and sense of place

Lack of speed transition where community context changes

Need for more wayfinding and branding

Goals

DESIGN SOLUTIONS CHICANE

Chicanes add curveature to an otherwise straight road. They can signal the entrance to a neighborhood or a speed transition.

The design elements of a gateway can include:

Improve overall branding of New Britain

√ Curb extensions √ Surface material changes √ Geometry

Improve the sense of place and neighborhood pride

√ Public plazas

√ Lighting

Define transition zones for improved safety

√ Raised or wide crosswalks

√ Public art

Destination Gateway Signage aids in “mental mapping” and celebrates the unique character of a specific community.

Design Solutions

Improve the impression of New Britain as you enter the City

GATEWAYS

√ Signage

changes

√ Raised medians

√ Landscaping

Columbus Roundabout Gateway features public art and surface material changes.

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

CURB EXTENSIONS

SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING

NEIGHBORHOOD BRANDING

Curb extensions and the defined crosswalk help to signal this intersection as a neighborhood entry where and vehicles should proceed slowly

Standard signage to be placed at City Entrances and for Wayfinding throughout the City

Eastside Gateway

Curb Extensions - photo credit NACTO

Historic Gateway Signage

Barrio Latino - Arch Street Gateway

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

Featured Project 1 Concept Little Poland Gateway The intersection of Broad and Washington Streets is a gateway to one of New Britain’s most prominent attractions, Little Poland. However, there is no transition indicating the gateway, there is little sense of place or amenities for fostering public gatherings, and the recent Broad Street reconstruction and streetscape improvement did not address these issues. Additionally, the wide intersection does not provide a high level of comfort for pedestrians. The proposed improvements would work to calm traffic, create a community hub and greatly improve safety.

Proposed Improvements: •

Bump-outs added at all four corners of intersection to provide traffic calming and area for flexible seating at the eateries

Street trees and benches provided in front of market and storefronts across street

Red/white street centerline striping added on Broad Street

Widened brick crosswalks with prominent pavement markings to indicate pedestrian plaza

Brick shelf continued on north and southbound Washington Street to define gateway entrance

1

Before

After

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ENHANCING GATEWAYS

Actions √ Define entrances to New Britain with standard signage and aesthetic improvements to create a strong sense of place √ Use a combination of signage and vertical and horizontal treatments at neighborhood entrances to better define neighborhoods and create sense of pride √ Utilize the Complete Streets design elements to define major roadway transitions to slower-speed zones, signal to vehicles where to slow down, and discourage through-traffic in certain context √ Improve wayfinding signage for visitors

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IMPLEMENTATION

IMPLEMENTATION

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IMPLEMENTATION The Roadmap identifies Goals and specific Actions for each Focus Area. The City has outlined the following framework to assure that the team is successful in implementing the Roadmap and embedding Complete Streets into policies and processes. The framework is as follows:

IMPLEMENTATION

Processes & Planning New Britain is a state leader in Complete Streets and has implemented an extensive number of Complete Streets projects; however, the design concept is not embedded in the City’s policies and procedures. To date, the Complete Streets success has been related to having staff that embrace the benefits of Complete Streets and implements projects based on these principles. Moving forward, policies and procedures need to be developed that institutionalize Complete Streets as a standard way we conduct business. This involves: a. Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) - Maintaining consistency with City’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) related to the implementation of Complete Streets. b. Complete Streets Policy - Implementing a formal Complete Streets Policy through the adoption of a City Ordinance and a public process. c. Design and Engineering Standards - Updating the City’s 2008 Standards Specifications for Municipal Construction to incorporate the City’s Complete Streets related design standards, and standard details and specifications. d. Citywide Pedestrian Audit - Conducting a citywide pedestrian audit to help identify and prioritize needs and opportunities to improve the City’s pedestrian network. e. Traffic Calming Evaluation - As outlined in Design Standards and Approach, the City will be developing a systematic approach to evaluating and specifying applicable traffic calming solutions for certain types of road classifications and situations. This process will be a joint effort between Engineering, Police and the Board of Police Commissioners, the City’s Legal Traffic Authority (LTA).

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IMPLEMENTATION

f. Traffic Signal System - Integral to the success of Complete Streets are

b. Events - Hosting social and educational events is

highly efficient and connected traffic signal systems that allow for smooth

critical for promoting Complete Streets in a community,

flow of traffic and properly timed pedestrian signals. The City completed

and events such as the City’s Annual Bike Rodeo

the initial two phases of its traffic signal system and is planning the third

and the Hardware City Bike Tour, among others, have

phase along with the integration of citywide fiber connectivity.

played an important part of the City’s Complete Streets

g. New Bicycle Connectivity Plan - Conducting a follow-up planning study to the 2013 Bicycle Connectivity Plan that closely looks at ways to improve the City’s bicycle and multi-use trail network. h. Capital Projects Planning - Continuing to develop highly beneficial and highly fundable Complete Streets Capital Projects through communitybased planning efforts.

Engagement & Education

efforts. The City needs to continue to host fun, social, and educational Complete Streets related events for the community. c. Public Presentations - This involves hosting presentations for City residents, community stakeholders, and outside agencies for educational and promotional purposes. d. Website Information & Public Engagement Tool This involves maintaining timely and relevant information

First and foremost, Complete Streets is about people and improving the livability

about the City’s Complete Streets efforts on the City’s

and quality of life of a place. Related to this, investing in people - through

website and maintaining a public engagement tool that

partnerships, education, and engagement - is one of the most vital components

allows residents to engage with the City about their

to helping assure Complete Streets success. Moving forward this involves:

Complete Streets concerns and requests.

a. Partnerships - Partnerships are a critical component for successfully implementing Complete Streets and have been a large part of this City’s success to date. The City needs to continue to maintain and improve its partnerships with agencies and advocacy groups, such as the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), CT Main Streets, Bike-Walk Connecticut, and Bike New Britain among others. 106


IMPLEMENTATION

Annual Programs Annual maintenance programs like the City’s Annual Paving and Sidewalk programs have arguably the biggest impact on bringing Complete Streets citywide, and improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. a. Pavement Management Program - To date, the City’s approximately $2M per year Annual Paving Program has had the largest impact on bringing Complete Streets citywide in terms of road miles involved. This is due to the many road diets and lane diets that have been completed in conjunction with restriping efforts during repaving. The majority of bicycle lanes have also been striped after repaving. Moving forward, Complete Streets accommodations need to be considered and implemented whenever a road is repaved. b. Sidewalk and Right-of-Way Management Program - Every year the City’s Annual Sidewalk Program plays an important role in addressing pedestrian safety and connectivity priorities around the City. The City needs to continue to refine and prioritize this program and seek additional funding to potentially fund this annual program at a higher level. c. Traffic Operations - In recent years, the City’s Traffic Operations have played a more prominent role in addressing smaller scale pedestrian improvements, like installing a mid-block crosswalk where a flashing beacon is required, establishing new pedestrian signal-controlled crosswalks, and other similar upgrades for non-motorized vulnerable users. The City needs to continue to retain and further develop these in-house capabilities, which help to improve pedestrian safety.

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IMPLEMENTATION

Capital Projects Administration a. Grant Funding - Once Complete Streets projects have been identified through the planning process, obtaining funding for them is the next critical step needed to bring these projects to fruition. To date, the City has been highly successful in obtaining competitive grant funds for their Complete Streets related projects. Moving forward, the City needs to continue to develop highly fundable projects, seek out grant funding opportunities, and then prepare high-quality competitive grant applications to secure funding. b. Staff and Capital Project Administration - The City’s in-house Capital Project Administration capabilities, which include in-house project management, design, construction management, and construction inspection capabilities, have been an essential part of the City achieving success with its Complete Streets Capital Projects. The Engineering Division has administered over $40M of Complete Streets projects since 2012. The City needs to retain the engineering and construction staffing needed to continue administering its Complete Streets Capital Projects. c. Smaller Scale Intersection and Street Improvements - Public Works Engineering and Field Divisions have teamed up on a number of smaller Complete Streets projects that have improved roadway and intersections alignments and vehicle and pedestrian safety. The City will continue and expand upon these successful collaborations for smaller scale street improvements throughout New Britain.

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