I was jonesin’ through the Internet, as usual, when I came across the Yahoo! article for the “10 Best Citites for the Next Decade.” Although West Hartford here in Connecticut wasn’t the crème de la crème (Austin, Texas took that title), it certainly is among the top 10 best cities for the new decade.
If anything boosted the economy in West Hartford, it had to be the Blue Back Square smack dab in the middle of town. Yes, the unemployment rate is still high, but this town can create new jobs even during the recession. By the way, it’s still a recession until the unemployment rate goes down.
Hey Connecticut, you’ve got less than three years, four months, and seven days to construct a form of rapid transportation that is called a busway connecting the two cities in Central Connecticut. Think you can do it?
Since the late 1990s, there have been massive talks about the proposed Hartford-New Britain Busway. Yes, it is a proposal. No, not one stitch of progress has been made. For the past 5 years, the Busway has been all talk but no action. But the day construction of the $569 million project breaks ground will be the day the Connecticut government stopped talking and started working.
The Busway will affect some of the routes in the CTTRANSIT Hartford Division as well as all the routes operated by New Britain Transportation, a subsidiary of CTTRANSIT. Homes and businesses were displaced during the proposal of the Busway as the state acquired 17 out of 22 properties around the Busway.
The Busway, if completed by 2013, will serve 11 stops within the communities in Hartford, West Hartford, Newington, and New Britain. But apples to apples, if the busway does not launch by 2013, it could be another I-291. Remember when I-291 was to be constructed as a ring around the suburbs of Hartford? The proposed project included the northern terminus of present-day CT Route 3 as the highway shifted westward through Rocky Hill and Newington bypassing the Berlin Turnpike before curving northward toward present-day CT Route 9. The loop would be complete with proposed interchanges with Farmington Avenue, Albany Avenue, and North Main Street in West Hartford as well as Bloomfield and Blue Hills Avenues in Bloomfield. Unfortunately the I-291 that was built crosses the Connecticut River at Putnam Highway in Windsor heading eastward into I-84 in Manchester.
Granted, the Busway could ease the traffic off of I-84 and I-91 going away from Hartford.