CT WOULD GO TO The Future With Transit-oriented Development Back Again
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart in her City Hall office. Stewart has been a strong proponent of transit-oriented development. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart in her City Hall office. Stewart is a strong proponent of transit-oriented development. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart in her City Hall office. Stewart is a strong proponent of transit-oriented development. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart in her City Hall office. Stewart has been a strong proponent of transit-oriented development.
New Britain – The decades after World War II were unkind to numerous Connecticut metropolitan areas, New Britain among them. The Hardware City lost jobs, was carved up by highways, and noticed residents depart for the suburbs. Its once-bustling downtown began to look desolate, almost as an archeological site. Downtown New Britain back is continuously coming.
Streets have been revamped and redesigned (with roundabouts and bicycle lanes), a downtown park up has been spiffed, and historic structures are being refurbished for housing and other uses. A fresh development, two five-story buildings with 160 residential units and 20 about,000 square feet of retail space, is under the building.
“More downtown structures have been sold in the last 2 yrs then within the last 20 years,” said longtime city development director Bill Carroll, a fresh Britain native. What’s traveling this revival? New Britain officials, led by Republican Mayor Erin Stewart, have embraced the CTfastrak bus fast transit system as an economic engine, and it seems to be working. The mayor said in a recent interview that she expects 200 new devices of downtown casing set up by the finish of this season, with another 100 arriving next 12 months. CTfastrak “has driven almost all of this.
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It’s my talking point,” said the ebullient 32-year-old Stewart, now in her third term. Indeed, nearly every one of the development in downtown New Britain is at easy walking distance of the downtown CTfastrak station, making it what planners call “transit-oriented development, tOD or”. Other communities along the state’s transit corridors – you can’t have TOD without the T – have embraced the concept as well, with support from the state.
But can TOD help revive all metropolitan areas and towns, not New Britain just? “Yes,” said David Elder, the constant state Department of Transportation planner and TOD coordinator, “but it doesn’t happen overnight. Nonetheless it is going on. 700 million in investment, regarding to figures published by the Capital Region Council of Governments.
Nearly every community – Windsor Locks, Windsor, West Hartford, Berlin, Wallingford among others – in both corridors has at least one TOD task completed or underway. Several shoreline communities – Clinton, Fairfield, and others – have projects in the works as well. “I think it is the single most significant thing we can do” for the city and state economic development, said David Kooris, deputy commissioner of the continuing state Department of Economic and Community Development.