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Theophrastus Bombastus

B.I.D.

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They killed the 291 loop around Hartford several decades ago. The residents of the northwest suburbs complained, and there was a threat to some reservoir, or something like that.

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Then the ramps for what should have been the 189 highway would need to be done for expressway traffic. And I could see the ramps for Exit 61 (current I-291) being created since they can't be several lanes wide now for traffic heading to Bissell Bridge.

Still might be cheaper doing this than the viaduct repairs. But 691/91 is better because it doesn't require any new road building, only ramp improvements in Southington, Meriden, and south of the Charter Oak Bridge.

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We clearly do not need 2 highways criss-crossing downtown. One would suffice, and in the future maybe none would be needed, but I-91 could handle all downtown traffic and I-84 eliminated or rerouted today and it would all work out. How do we get the DOT to understand this though?

Imagine Asylum Street without the conduit???

d8e71rm1.jpg

So nice and serene.....

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If the downtown section of 84 was eliminated, Connecticut boulevard could follow its path to Asylum Hill.

CT BLVD would be like what Mass AVE is to Boston and Cambridge.

The downtown canyon could be used for the "Downtown Bypass" lanes.

Mass transit coming over the "reclaimed" Bulkeley Bridge could also use the canyon to reach Union Station and Farmington Avenue.

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Well that was the 291 loop, which went right by the West Hartford reservoirs.

art-hfd-fwy-60s-th.png

I'm talking about following the 189 on the map (the ramps were built and usused) and following that over the Bissell Bridge. I-84 between those two points could be scapped, and anyone wanting to travel to downtown but wanting to avoid the avenues could get on I-91 southbound and head into town that way.

It's not perfect but certainly a MILLION times better than what we have.

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Very nice job Bill. That was possibly the best thing I've read in the Commentary section ever.

The Putnam Bridge idea, though it makes more sense that the current design by avoiding East Hartford Center and Hartford Southend, would be impossible to do today considering how many houses it would have to take. The removal of I-84 through Hartford should absolutely be done right away though.

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Bill, great job!!!! I came home from a few days away and the first thing I see is our very own Bill M. in the paper!! I too would prefer to see the Putnam Bridge used better. The area of I-91 from Wethersfield through the Charter Oak Bridge would be a nightmare (it is already) if they ran all the I-84 traffic through there. I'm also wondering if there's another way to get across the river even lower, like building a bridge in Cromwell or Rocky Hill....

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Bill, great job!!!! I came home from a few days away and the first thing I see is our very own Bill M. in the paper!! I too would prefer to see the Putnam Bridge used better. The area of I-91 from Wethersfield through the Charter Oak Bridge would be a nightmare (it is already) if they ran all the I-84 traffic through there. I'm also wondering if there's another way to get across the river even lower, like building a bridge in Cromwell or Rocky Hill....

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Great article Bill. Some people bash the Courant, but I have to give the Place section credit for discussing planning issues and generally advocating for the city. The more I think about, your idea about 84/691 is probably the best combination of a feasible and cost effective way of dealing with 84.

Some random thoughts:

1. I'm guessing that the 691/91 interchange in Meriden would probably have to be upgraded. The land is there to do it, the guy who owns it has been trying to sell out to any developer that has come his way for the past few years.

2. I actually think you could get most of the Southington/Farmington/West Hartford commuters behind the idea by telling them they would get their own Merritt Parkway with no commercial traffic.

3. If the DOT has proven anything, its that they can do things pretty much unilaterally. If they're ever convinced that this is a good idea, they could make it happen much easier than other smart growth projects like the NH/Springfield commuter line.

4. I'd be curious to hear more specifics about exactly how 84 in Hartford would be reconciled with the city street grid.

All and all, superb job!

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Saw Bill's article in the Courant commentary and I like it,but I think the old 491 plan over the Putnam Bridge makes more sense.How nasty do you think East Hartford would get if the DOT resurrected 491?

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Great article Bill. Some people bash the Courant, but I have to give the Place section credit for discussing planning issues and generally advocating for the city. The more I think about, your idea about 84/691 is probably the best combination of a feasible and cost effective way of dealing with 84.

Some random thoughts:

1. I'm guessing that the 691/91 interchange in Meriden would probably have to be upgraded. The land is there to do it, the guy who owns it has been trying to sell out to any developer that has come his way for the past few years.

2. I actually think you could get most of the Southington/Farmington/West Hartford commuters behind the idea by telling them they would get their own Merritt Parkway with no commercial traffic.

3. If the DOT has proven anything, its that they can do things pretty much unilaterally. If they're ever convinced that this is a good idea, they could make it happen much easier than other smart growth projects like the NH/Springfield commuter line.

4. I'd be curious to hear more specifics about exactly how 84 in Hartford would be reconciled with the city street grid.

All and all, superb job!

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