Bill Mocarsky

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About Bill Mocarsky

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    Greater Hartford
  1. Hartford I-84 Viaduct Study

    There are reasons to move the rail line that have nothing to do with the new highway. It could be said that the highway project has opened the door to fix the rail line. The new alignment would be level, straighter and underground. It should be noted that the transportation center would not move; it would expand across the highway. This would most likely assure that this portion of the highway is capped right up front.
  2. Hard Rock Hartford

    What block is this located on? Is it across Trumbull or Main from the stadium?
  3. Hartford I-84 Viaduct Study

    Charter Oak Bridge. What irks me as well as the team of engineers and designers is that after all is done, we are still stuck with the 84/91 interchange which is substandard from an engineers point of view and urban planning blunder from a designers point of view. So the team is toying with plans of alternate routes over the river. Freeing up the canyon area would allow for a subway (enter the mode of your choice) that emerges to the surface just east of Main street and continues over the Bulkeley Bridge. Connecticut blvd would cover the canyon and continue to Asylum Hill. This is probably a stretch for the project at hand though. But this project should be designed in a way to facilitate this potential phase. For the viaduct replacement project, I'm pushing for a boulevard that links the west end to downtown. This connecter would assume the functionality of the Sisson through Asylum interchanges. It would act as an interface between the neighborhoods and the highway. It would also eliminate having to get on the highway between the neighborhoods. The highway has been playing the role of this missing street for years. Hope everybody has been attending.
  4. Hartford I-84 Viaduct Study

    I went there this morning. Great group of people. And all sorts of alternatives are on the table including routing 84 to the meadows and over a new bridge; routing 84 to the COB; and dozens of others.
  5. Hartford I-84 Viaduct Study

    Is anybody here planning on going to the open planning studio sessions this week?
  6. Hartford I-84 Viaduct Study

    Malloy: I-84 Viaduct Replacement Is Overdue http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-hartford-malloy-i-84-0407-20150406-story.html It seems that the consensus is: rebuilding as is has very little support full blown tunnel is probably prohibitively expensive at grade or slightly depressed is most likely I would like to refer to the at grade (or slightly depressed) option as the virtual tunnel option. I think it would be similar to the Mass Pike in Boston's Back Bay; it wasn't built as a tunnel per se, but it has very little presence on the landscape. With this option, we should still be able to end up with a "tunnel" in the most crucial area, Broad Street through Union Station (and potentially as far as the "downtown canyon"). btw: Why isn't this thread pinned? This is a major project.
  7. CTfastrak thread

    Here are some of my observations (with critique) after trying it out Saturday and Sunday. Has the basic essentials to become one of the best (if not the best) BRT systems in the country. Could put Hartford on the map. Biggest factor here is the dedicated guideway. Seems to be well received. Bigger city vibe not experienced in Hartford before. Challenges Connecticut’s conservative image. Ride approaches the smoothness of metros/subways that I am familiar with. Platform docking not always consistent though. Perhaps more experience will minimize this? Interior of the bus, with its arrangement of seating, handle straps and bike racks gives the feeling of a real rapid transit system. However, CTfastrak system maps were lacking. Riders would often pull chord (or press button) that triggers the “stop requested” voice so bus will stop at next station. I don’t get it; I thought it stopped at all stations regardless. Doesn’t take too much rain or snow to make seating under shelters at some stations useless. Downtown New Britain station could use better pedestrian connections to surrounding area. The Szczesny Municipal Parking Garage is visible a few hundred feet south of boarding platform, but you need to walk to the western end of station and then back around a couple of blocks to get there. If the idea was to make this parking garage a viable option for CTfastrak users, then an effort to make a more direct connection should be made. CTfastrak sort of falls apart as it reaches downtown Hartford. Instead of gliding into what should be the flagship of CTfastrak stations, the bus stops on Asylum Street about a half block from Union Station. The route continues in a loop around downtown, subjected to the same traffic and pot holes as other vehicles. Apparently, disruptions on the downtown loop can throw the rest of the line out of sync. For example, a fire on an upper floor of 777 Main Street caused a 40+ minute gap in service for the 101 (the main shuttle route). The gap was then followed by buses that were a couple minutes apart. Would have preferred that the 101 route (with its articulated buses) terminate in a proper station. The shorter 30’ buses would then be used as circulators around downtown and Asylum Hill. I am curious to hear about others experiences.
  8. 100 Billion Transit Plan

    What do you think about the proposed CTfastrak extension to Manchester that would cost a fraction of the first phase? If you have opinions, I hope you also voice it in other places than here. I just wrote a letter to the Courant that questioned this proposal. Busway 'Extension' Sounds Like Just A Bus http://www.courant.com/opinion/letters/hc-ugc-article-fastrak-lite-2015-03-10-story.html Lyle Wray of CRCG responded with his own letter defending the proposal. East Of River Extension A Key Link In CTfastrak http://www.courant.com/opinion/letters/hc-ugc-article-letter-to-editor-ctfastrak-east-2015-03-13-story.html I think this piece hits the nail on the head. http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9600/brt-creep-makes-bus-rapid-transit-inferior-to-rail/
  9. IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

    I am curious to see if the performance of this system will live up to the claim of being similar to light rail. How smooth will the ride be? How will the bus approach and leave the boarding platforms? My wife has no problem riding trains and subways. However, she doesn't like riding a bus; she gets motion sickness on buses. I think I'll find out if it is a bus or train after I take it with my wife.
  10. 100 Billion Transit Plan

    For a 100 billion dollar plan, this piece sounds underwhelming. Maybe it should be called ctfastrak lite. The buses would share the HOV lanes with other vehicles. Don't we already have something like that?
  11. IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

    I originally wanted LRT; but we are getting BRT, and it has its advantages. This will be Connecticut's first rapid transit system. Outside of Boston, it's the only one in New England (I think). This is where Hartford has a chance to pull ahead of other comparatively sized cities. I think that this is the first project that has potential to help Hartford reverse its negative image. The spine of this system (the CtFastrak conduit) seems to have all the elements of true BRT. Then there's the question: Will it relieve congestion on I-84? In the very least, express buses from Waterbury, Southington, Bristol, etc. will no longer be part of this congestion; they will enter the New Britain station (a main transfer hub) directly from the highway. After leaving that station, the next express stop is Sigourney Street via the almost straight as an arrow guideway. There is no real fastrak station at Union Station. I am thinking that the long term configuration here is going to depend on the highway/rail reconstruction.
  12. IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

    I tend to look at a rapid transit system differently than most people. I think of a system on a dedicated route as a linear extension of a community. So all of the stores, offices, housing and other developments around stations are part of this extension. If there are any signs of reduced traffic, I see that as a positive by product.
  13. IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

    I think a key to Fastrack's success will be the integration with other modes of transportation as well as the integration of new (and existing) development. One of the first headings I saw on http://www.ctfastrak.com/ says "A GREENER WAY TO GROCERIES". I then looked at the station site plans and noticed that the Kane Street station was right next to the Stop n Shop; I could see doing a quick off and back on at this station. As convenient as it is, you still need to negotiate a parking lot between the store and station platform. So my thinking is: find a way to make this Stop n Shop (and other developments in general) feel like they are part of the station.
  14. IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

    I'm starting to get excited about the Fastrack. I think the main trunk of this system is going to feel and operate more like a light rail system (as opposed to the bus system we know).
  15. Are the condo owners actually worried about property values? Do they actually think the iquilt efforts are going to make the neighborhood into a less desirable place to live? What drives property values anyways?