Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Just the Facts, Ma'am

In late June, city and state officials announced a plan to elevate Route 9 between the river and downtown, which would allow the removal of the traffic lights.  

The above image shows how lifting the highway would look at the bottom of Washington Street (that white building represents DeKoven House.)

Here's a bit more information:

•  You can see all the 3D renderings of the proposed changes at this link, provided by the DOT:   http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=4109&q=582016

•  There's a public meeting for input tonight, Tuesday, July 26, at 7 pm at the Elks Club at 44 Maynard Street.   Apparently the venue was selected so that there would be ample room for the public to attend.

•  Here are two editorials on the subject, with differing viewpoints:


Ridge Road Resident said...

Is this the only option? Are we just being 'forced' to go with the least expensive option? I would like to see how the various options look with the proposed riverfront development. How will this address accidents that happen with people merging on 9N from the Main St Extension/Rt 17 entrance?

Jen Alexander said...

Hi Ridge Road - I certainly hope this is not the only option!

But FYI - I believe there is a plan already underway to extend the acceleration ramp where Route 17 meets Route 9 North - in other words, eliminating the "one-car-per-green" entryway by making it a longer onramp. This means the removal of the onramp at Harbor Park and Route 9 will get a little bit wider in that area, on the riverfront side. Since that is one of the major sources of accidents (and removing the Harbor Park onramp removes another hazard), I think one option should be waiting to see if that project has any effect before we add another.

Bill Flood said...

They are asking for input from citizens, businesses, etc.; that's what tonight's meeting begins.
This project is separate from the 17 & 9 interchange, although according to the engineers it grew out of that project.
You can watch the full press conference announcing the design here:

Ridge Road Resident said...

Thanks for the responses; unfortunately I have another commitment. I will look for an alternative way to provide my input.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying the lights shouldn't go, but don't blame them for the crashes. It's people going way too fast. The speed limit is 45. Traffic goes more like 65. Especially the people using the right lane on the south bound side as a passing lane.

jon said...

I wasn't able to make the meeting, but maybe somebody here knows whether I'm reading the plan correctly...

Does all Rt-9 northbound traffic exiting to cross the bridge get off at the new Washington Street circle and follow deKoven to Rappallo? I would be worried that the weird intersection of Rapallo & Main wouldn't be able to handle that load, and it would also back up at the intersection at St John's since bridgegoers wouldn't be flowing with right-on-red access...

Anonymous said...

Want a better idea of what the raised section of RT9 will look like - just visit Water St. in New Haven - next to the new RT34 connector.
See: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.3009333,-72.9188147,3a,75y,149.01h,87.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLbujiwrA2J1PTJtS-buS5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Not my idea of a scenic view of Harbor Park.

Jen Alexander said...

Hi Jon,

As we all know, there are basically 2 groups of traffic that come up Route 9 North and make left turns at the lights.

The first group turns at Exit 15 (Washington Street) because they are headed to downtown or heading West on Route 66 toward Meriden.

The other is heading to the Arrigoni bridge (or the North End of Main Street). Those cars now turn at the light at Exit 16 and go up Hartford Avenue (next to O'Rourke's/St. John's).

Under the proposal, both of those groups would turn at what is now Exit 15 (Washington Street) and enter the rotary in front of the DeKoven House and then head up the hill. For the group heading to the bridge, they would turn on Main Street at the corner of Washington & Main. Of course, many people would sidestep that to take DeKoven/Rapallo and the intersection that you mentioned (which has trouble handling the current traffic load).

On the other side, heading south, there would be no exit at Route 15 so anyone trying to get to Route 66/Washington Street (or that part of downtown) would take Exit 16 at Hartford Avenue and turn left on Main Street and through the North End to get to the Main/Washington intersection.

That intersection itself would be narrowed by about 30 feet (on the Main Street side) to make it faster to cross pedestrians.

Hopefully, after the reception at last night's meeting, which was nearly all negative about the plan, this will go back to the drawing board for other ideas.

j said...

I'm not too concerned about the proposed "wall." For one thing, this area already has access to the riverfront via the tunnel at Melilli Plaza. Second, the view isn't that great as is. Third, any proposed development of the riverfront will occur about 1/4 mile south of here, which cannot be seen as is, and will have additional access via a pedestrian bridge as part of this proposal. Aside from moving the whole road underground or moving it to a completely different part of town (neither of which are economically feasible), this is the best solution I've seen over the years.

Steve Bayley said...

Reply to j. I agree 100% about the "wall".

I have lived in Middletown or the Middletown for the most part since 1981 and there have been talk about removing the lights since then. There are always complaints when a plan is introduced. It is too expensive, it does not do enough, it diverts traffic from Main St., it adds too much traffic to Main St., it will impact the natural beauty of the river, etc. This is the best plan I have seen for a long time.

Idling for 6 minutes a day in the traffic caused by the lights means my car alone will produce 520 pounds of CO2. I do not drive daily through Middletown but even if it was only 182 days a year, that is 260 pounds of CO2 produced by my car alone

My wife and I do not go into Middletown because we avoid the lights/traffic, we prefer to go south to go out and eat/shop.

This plan will decrease pollution and increase productivity by not having cars idle so much. Hopefully the DOT will tweak it based on feedback but the project will continue to move forward.

My 2 cents.