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mikel

Hartford Beltway.. Good that it was never built?

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In the 50's and 60's, there were attempts to build a beltway around Hartford.

I-291 was to leave I-91 between Wethersfield and Rocky Hill, go around through West Hartford, cross I-91 again at the Bissell Bridge in Windsor, and end at I-84.

I-491 (or I-86) was to leave I-91 at Wethersfield, cross the Putnam Bridge, cut through East Hartford and go on where I-84 stands today until the Mass Pike.

I think it would have only contributed to even more sprawl in the area. It may have helped divert highway traffic out of downtown, though, but still it's drawbacks outweigh the positives.

The only part that might have made sense was diverting New York to Boston traffic over the Putnam Bridge and away from downtown, where they once used the Founders Bridge, now they use the new Charter Oak Bridge. It would have been easy to toll the freeloaders on that bridge as well. And maybe I-84 in East Hartford wouldn't be so ridiculously wide. But then again, that might have only encouraged more car traffic through this area.

In conclusion, I'm happy there is no beltway in Hartford but unhappy there is so much through traffic into downtown Hartford on the highways, which have been made wayyyy too wide. Any other thoughts? Perhaps we should toll people entering Hartford, to encourage the freeloaders to stay on I-95 and go through Providence instead!

hartford-fwys.jpg

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I personally am glad that the rest of the beltway was not built. While sometimes the 291 stretch that was built basically down the street from where I grew up on the SW/EH townline is convenient, I think I could even do without that. I think the outgrowth from a completed beltway would have been more suburban shopping centers. Even though Buckland always had direct highway access with 84, I think one reason it grew to the epic point that it is today was because of 291 making it that much easier to access.

We have enough highways going through the Greater Hartford area. Look at EH, it would have basically become one giant highway city. Instead of an overemphasis on highway development, we should have created a greater system of light rail (I know we may be starting to beat a dead horse on that topic).

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I really don't see how I291 would of helped eased congestion. If anything it would diverted people away from coming into Hartford. I'm also glad it wasn't built.

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Having direct and easy Highway access is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact it is a selling point in most economic development/visitor literature. We just need to have adequate public transportation alternatives to ease congestion.

That and we need to put the highways underground.......

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Having direct and easy Highway access is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact it is a selling point in most economic development/visitor literature. We just need to have adequate public transportation alternatives to ease congestion.

That and we need to put the highways underground.......

There is very little congestion in the Hartford area, the highways are just so wide we've taken away the problems of congestion and given us the bigger problems the highways create, cutting off everything. Congestion occurs when they're accidents, which is unavoidable on highways as you cannot get away from them easily.

Also, the highways will never be put underground, especially not after the Big Dig mess. We've invested enough money on them, noone is going to want to spend billions more on them.

Public transport is a must in this area... That commuter rail line must be put on the fast track.

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There is very little congestion in the Hartford area, the highways are just so wide we've taken away the problems of congestion and given us the bigger problems the highways create, cutting off everything. Congestion occurs when they're accidents, which is unavoidable on highways as you cannot get away from them easily.

Also, the highways will never be put underground, especially not after the Big Dig mess. We've invested enough money on them, noone is going to want to spend billions more on them.

Public transport is a must in this area... That commuter rail line must be put on the fast track.

Respectfully disagree that there is "very little" congestion in the Hartford area....84 just after the tunnel in downtown is terrible from 4-6 on week days. I don't follow the congestion patterns of other large cities, but Hartford congestion does seem pretty bad to me. Maybe we aren't that bad comparatively.

I also don't think that just because the Big Dig was a mess is Mass that it can't work anywhere else. A lot could be learned from mistakes that were made there...and who knows new construction technology over time could make the construction easier..., it would take a relatively small stretch of 84 getting buried to satisfy me (very small compared to what the Big Dig is).

I am in complete agreement with you on the commuter rail line.

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There is very little congestion in the Hartford area, the highways are just so wide we've taken away the problems of congestion and given us the bigger problems the highways create, cutting off everything. Congestion occurs when they're accidents, which is unavoidable on highways as you cannot get away from them easily.

Also, the highways will never be put underground, especially not after the Big Dig mess. We've invested enough money on them, noone is going to want to spend billions more on them.

Public transport is a must in this area... That commuter rail line must be put on the fast track.

HIGHLY disagree there is little congestion!! Connecticut is ultra congested!!!!!!

I Dont know what youre talking about!

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HIGHLY disagree there is little congestion!! Connecticut is ultra congested!!!!!!

I Dont know what youre talking about!

The Hartford area is not as bad as the New Haven, and Fairfeild counties areas. I been everywhere and see it all.

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The Hartford area is not as bad as the New Haven, and Fairfeild counties areas. I been everywhere and see it all.

Yes, 95 is even worse. I have been there too.

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I really don't see how I291 would of helped eased congestion. If anything it would diverted people away from coming into Hartford. I'm also glad it wasn't built.

You probably don't have to drive from North of Hartford to Farmington for work... Coming from 91 to get into Hartford and 84 West sucks, I know, I used to have to drive it (but now I walk to work :D ). I don't think it would have taken people away from the city, just make it easier to get in. Possibly even allowing for a redesign of 84 and 91 in the Hartford area.

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I think the belt way would have worked OK. It would have certainly influenced development patterns, and our Beltway Suburbs may have ended up more interconnected with Hartford.

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My old morning drive from Manchester to west of Hartford was terribly congested. It gets real thick at the 384 flyover, then thicker through East Hartford. Around Conn Blvd. exit, it is basically 5mph stop and go, through to West Hartford where it clears slighltly.

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You probably don't have to drive from North of Hartford to Farmington for work... Coming from 91 to get into Hartford and 84 West sucks, I know, I used to have to drive it (but now I walk to work :D ). I don't think it would have taken people away from the city, just make it easier to get in. Possibly even allowing for a redesign of 84 and 91 in the Hartford area.

I'm not disputing the large traffic volumes that the area has. I just think the I95 corridor is much more worse, than what we face up here in the Hartford area.

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When you think about it, route 9 between Farmington and Cromwell is like a southwest segment for the beltway.

691 is like an additional beltway (southwest), further out.

It would be a shame to put the northwest segment through the resevoir. I thought that wasn't out enough.

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It would be a shame to put the northwest segment through the resevoir.

and pretty much the only reason it wasn't built...

I am in agreement 95 is by far the worst, but 84 and 91 is no picnic during the morning and evening rush...

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Of course 95 is worse, but there is no point comparing it to Hartford. Different traffic patterns.

Boston is trying to get a Urban Ring bus route going, something like the image seen here

MBTA_future5-t.jpg

There is a good use for it there, it would have been pointless in Hartford. Peopl go from the suburbs, IN to the city. With a small city like Hartford, taking a route from Manchester all the way around the city would be pointless and a waste of time

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There is a good use for it there, it would have been pointless in Hartford. Peopl go from the suburbs, IN to the city. With a small city like Hartford, taking a route from Manchester all the way around the city would be pointless and a waste of time

I rather see the 691 - 91 - Charter Oak Bridge route optimized for the Waterbury through Manchester traffic. It is only a mile of so longer but is not subjected to all the curves with the 45 mph zones. The through traffic would still pass close enough to the city to get the great panoramic view of the skyline.

The present route (through Farmington - West Hartford - Hartford) would be optimized for getting into the city or its western suburbs.

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It's really not that bad in Hartford - only about an hour of 'real' rush hour each way (7:30-8:30AM, 5-6PM) - most cities are much worse. One thing that would help would be to give it up with those HOV lanes already, and just build 2 more traffic lanes (or stick the Monorail over them, or light rail on them!)

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It's really not that bad in Hartford - only about an hour of 'real' rush hour each way (7:30-8:30AM, 5-6PM) - most cities are much worse. One thing that would help would be to give it up with those HOV lanes already, and just build 2 more traffic lanes (or stick the Monorail over them, or light rail on them!)

For the evening commute, I used to just drive in the HOV lane anyways. Never even saw a police officer. I didnt think too much of until my father told me he got caught once and it was a HEFTY fine.

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It's really not that bad in Hartford - only about an hour of 'real' rush hour each way (7:30-8:30AM, 5-6PM) - most cities are much worse. One thing that would help would be to give it up with those HOV lanes already, and just build 2 more traffic lanes (or stick the Monorail over them, or light rail on them!)

I agree, two more traffic lanes would be better than the HOV lanes.

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I don't think wider highways is the answer. At some point Greater Hartford has to stop adding highway lanes, bite the bullet and implement some kind of commuter rail service. Using the HOV lanes for rail service makes the most sense.

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I don't think wider highways is the answer. At some point Greater Hartford has to stop adding highway lanes, bite the bullet and implement some kind of commuter rail service. Using the HOV lanes for rail service makes the most sense.

My vote is that we change them into rail as well and get some real "High Occupancy Vehicle's" operating on that right of way.

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Putting a monorail or light rail either in/above the HOV lanes, and/or down the median of 91 would be awesome....

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Putting a monorail or light rail either in/above the HOV lanes, and/or down the median of 91 would be awesome....

Not needed. Hartford has train right-out-ways out of the city to practically every direction, and most are rarely if ever used. There would be no need to build mass transit on the highways with those right-of-ways, the logistics of where to put stations and other problems would not make it worth it.

The thing we need to do is fight the "rails to trails" people and keep those rail lines active and unobstructed for the future.

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I think placing some form of high speed public transit in the median or HOV lane would make excellent sense. Most of the railroad right-of-ways travel through suburban neighborhoods and cross streets etc, while having a train travel along an interstate highway would not create added NIMBY issues nor added safety concerns.

You could easily have train stations at or near exit ramps or simply have the train travel up and down the existing HOV on/off ramps.

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