Tonight, February 7, the Midstate Regional Planning Agency (MRPA) announced its decision to recommend that $800,000 in federal transportation enhancement funds be used for Middletown’s proposed 3.5 mile multi-use trail. MRPA makes recommendations to the Connecticut Department of Transportation that allocates federal transportation improvement funds.
This linear park walking and bicycling route proposed for Middletown would start downtown, wind through Wesleyan University via Washington Terrance and Vine Street, and proceed south via Long Lane and Long Hill Road to the Wesleyan Hills neighborhood. A “conceptual drawing” of the approximate route (still open to revision) may be found at http://www.thejonahcenter.org/news.php The Jonah Center for Earth and Art is the “project advocate” for the trail.
Mayor Dan Drew said, "We are making it safer and more pleasant for people who want to walk or bicycle more and drive their cars less. There is enormous interest in moving Middletown in this direction. It will increase health reduce traffic, improve air quality and make our city a more attractive place to live and work. "
In addition to the Mayor, other key city officials who contributed to this exciting proposal are William Warner, Director of Planning, Conservation, and Development, and Public Works Engineer Tom Nigosanti.
Mayor Drew is also in the process of forming a “Complete Streets and Bikeway Master Plan Committee” to identify possible future improvements to streets and sidewalks that could be accomplished in the years ahead as funds become available or as road bond repairs are scheduled in particular areas. The goal of this committee will be to determine how bike lanes, sidewalks, and off-road trails can best connect residential and commercial parts of the city.
The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites the public to a special program on Tuesday, February 28, 7 – 8:30 p.m. at First Church, 190 Court Street. Citizens will learn more about these developments, have an opportunity to ask question, and share ideas and concerns about walking and bicycling in our city. For more information, visit www.thejonahcenter.org and click “send us a message” or call 860-398-3771.