Connecticut DOT Marks Earth Day 2020
NEWINGTON— In observation of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) provided an update on its ongoing “active transportation” efforts to invest in bicycle and pedestrian trails and pathways, as well as signage, sidewalk and intersection enhancements.
Since redoubling its commitment to include bike and pedestrian initiatives in CTDOT road and bridge projects over the past 10 years, the Department has completed 75 miles of trails, including 37 miles of the East Coast Greenway that cuts through Connecticut.
Most trails and greenways in Connecticut are open, although some heavily used trails have been closed during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis to maintain social distancing. Overall trail usage is higher than normal, according to the Connecticut Trail Census.
“Walking and biking are excellent ways to stay healthy while observing today’s ‘social distancing’ guidelines,” said CTDOT Joseph J. Giulietti. “Through our many transit-oriented development and ‘Complete Streets’ initiatives, we are helping to make Connecticut communities more livable and attractive for all modes of transportation, including non-motorized modes like bicycles and pedestrian facilities. As we upgrade traffic signals around the state, we are fully accounting for pedestrian safety with better signs, more timing at crosswalks and bike lanes.”
In 2019, these upgrades took place in 110 Connecticut towns. Long-term plans call for 2,700 intersection upgrades across the state. CTDOT has also conducted more than 80 Road Safety Audits around Connecticut, working with local officials to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.
Commissioner Giulietti also highlighted CTDOT’s Community Connectivity Grant Program, a popular program under which the Department makes grants to towns for smaller scale infrastructure improvements to improve conditions for walking and biking within communities.
In 2018 and 2019, CTDOT approved grants to 80 cities and towns for construction of pedestrian, bicycle, and safety transportation projects to improve residents’ connection to neighborhood and community centers. These transportation projects are important to the health of our citizens, increase the availability of non-motorized transportation, and contribute to the vibrancy of our community centers.
Specific CTDOT bike/pedestrian efforts to build and design trails this year will include:
*3.25 miles of trail to be constructed
*Construction of two bridges and three culverts at separate roadway crossings along the Air Line State Park Trail in Pomfret and Putnam.
*Construction of a portion of the Moosup Valley State Park Trail in Sterling at the Rhode Island state border.
*Construction of a portion of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in New Haven.
*Construction of a portion of the Bloomfield Greenway in Bloomfield and Simsbury.
*Construction of the final segment of the Pequonnock River Trail in Trumbull.
9.8 miles of trail being designed:
*Design of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Plainville and Southington.
*Design of the Hop River Trail in Columbia and Coventry.
*Design of the Moosup Valley State Park Trail in Plainfield and Sterling.
*Design of the Stanley Loop Trail in New Britain
*Design of trails to the Putnam Bridge connecting Wethersfield to Glastonbury
Additional resources available through UConn’s Transportation Safety Research Center and the CTDOT’s Active Transportation Plan.
More on the East Coast Greenway, stretching from Key West, Florida, to Calais, Maine, is found at www.greenway.org.