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Bill Mocarsky

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Everything posted by Bill Mocarsky

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. I rather see a new arena built in a different location - possibly a couple of blocks to the north. To me, an arena is like a bookend. The feel of the city is usually quite different on opposite sides. For example, downtown development might thrive more on one side while parking garages dominate the other side. The bigger the building, the bigger the effect. Perhaps a large unstoppable city would develop all around the building. That is why I say move the bookend out a bit, extend Allyn Street to Trumbull, and start rethinking Church street by getting rid of that structure that spans the street. If only there was available land.
  7. In my opinion, the busway as planned doesn't make a lot of sense. But nobody asked me. For what its worth, I would have considered putting the effort and resources into realigning a small segment of tracks so New Britain could be on the New Haven - Springfield line. The older alignment would still be used as a bypass.
  8. I hope this doesn't get buried in all the off topic posts (that will hopefully be moved to a more appropriate place). What does everyone think about "option C"? http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-ed-health-center-20110605,0,7180328.story
  9. Building it in Farmington is compounding the mistake of putting it there in the first place. I believe if we are funding this project, it should also be an opportunity to influence development patterns in the right places(the thing that the state has put money in before). I just don't think we are getting the full potential out of this. And why is time suddenly "of the essence"? Wasn't this project not even on the radar a few weeks ago?
  10. I agree But the 2 projects don't have the synergy that I had in mind. I think some people look at transit (like a busway) simply as a means of moving people from one place to another. I like to think of transit as the the framework for a densified corridor. In turn, the development along this linear extension (of the central business district) fortifies the transit line. I would think if the state was interested in the success of the busway, there would an effort in locating new development downtown or right on top of this transit corridor. There really is something to be said about being bold in weak economic times.
  11. So now there are two controversial proposals in the Hartford area backed by Malloy, The busway and the UCONN Medical Center expansion. http://www.courant.com/health/connecticut/hc-uconn-health-0517-20110517,0,6980090.story Wouldn't it make sense to tie these projects together in some way - like bring the transit corridor (notice that I'm not specifying busway) to the hospital or bring the hospital to the transit corridor?
  12. A lot of the Columbus Boulevard traffic is probably due to a lack of options. East-west traffic must use Columbus Boulevard to get over the river.
  13. How busy are those streets in that part of Coltsville (at peak hours)? Do you drive through there, or do you get on 91 in downtown?
  14. I agree with those locations, but would add site 2 (directly north of current site) to the list. I think it is comparable to site 3 (near Crowne Plaza) in many ways with a slight advantage in being a little closer to Union Station. I don't know why site 4 was even considered. That would have knocked out Allyn and High streets. I don't think MSG spans the streets. It is built over the rail lines leading to and from Penn Station.
  15. The multi-tier interchange for the highway stub (known as the Whitehead Highway) is responsible for the roller coaster profile of I-91 in the Adriaen's Landing/Coltsville area. At one time, it was intended to be part of the I-91/84 interchange.
  16. A mile through the central segment of the city's primary corridor sounds pretty accessible to me.
  17. When I go to Boston, Montreal, NYC, etc. I am always riding the subways. I know these cities have buses too, but it never occurs to me to use them.
  18. Columbus boulevard already feels like the basement.
  19. I thought I would post a link to a letter to the editor I saw in the Hartford Courant. Get Creative On Front Street
  20. Based on our interaction in another topic its clear to me that you and I don't see eye to eye on questions of road building. None the less, I will only note that the projects you've listed are pretty much the exceptions that prove the rule, based on my observations. There has been some significant road building projects in the same time frame.
  21. I think an Allyn/Pratt corridor would be essential if this was to be the site of the new arena. There should also be a secondary corridor leading to Asylum and Haynes Street, in between CityPlace and the Goodwin. Reconfiguring the retail space that Northland just redid seems to be minor in the grand scope of the project. The original Civic Center Mall should have been built around such a connector. I believe its cul de sac feel contributed to its downfall.
  22. I superimposed the Staples Center footprint over the site. There was no problem fitting the arena between Allyn and S Chapel streets. The problem was the east to west space. It would fill out the area between Ann and Trumbull Streets, bumping in to the Hilton. A building like that would be way out of scale for the area. It looks more appropriate for the fringe of downtown, the north meadows or even Rentschler. However, Boston's TD Banknorth Garden fits the site. With that being said, my preferred site would be: I was wondering, if you were in a car at Union Station, near the corner of Spruce and Church, what would be the best route to 960 Main?
  23. Here is a variation. Allyn Street extends to Trumbull. Pedestrian paths align with Pratt and Haynes Streets. Imagine if Church Street was closed without Allyn Street being reopened. What a knot in the middle of downtown that would be. It would be very awkward trying to get from Union Place to CCC, for example.
  24. The red circle represents the footprint of Madison Square Garden (NYC) superimposed over the Hartford site. Allyn Street extends to Trumbull. I extended Haynes Street (should it be pedestrian only?) to Allyn, for better access between the Goodwin Hotel and proposed arena. I would also like to see Haynes Street extended to Jewel Street.
  25. I did a little "photoshopping" with the image. I just don't have the ability to upload anything now. I moved the footprint of the current arena to the north of Allyn Street. What I found was that there was plenty of room left over (at the new site) to allow for a larger arena. In addition, a site ripe for development would be freed up on the south side of Allyn Street.
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