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Hiramicus

I-84

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So, every time I drive through hartford on this road, I feel like it has some major problems with design. There are too many 90 degree turns, which cause delays; the road bottlenecks in hartford, causing further backups, and its mostly removed from the city (think long offramps like the West Blvd, Park Road in West Hartford, Flatbush Avenue, and Capitol Avenue). I'm curious what other people's thoughts on this issue are? What would be the best way to fix traffic flow. I would think one step would be eliminating the long offramp at West Bldv, and perhaps making it "jughandle"-ish exit at Park Avenue. I also think its weird that you can only get on 84 at Asylum Avenue and Sisson (which are quite far from each other).

anywho, thoughts?

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I agree it is a horrible road. I think everyone agrees on that.

As far as Ideas I think the commonly floated idea of putting it in a tunnel would be a start. use the streets above the tunnel to disperse traffic, eliminate most exits and onramps allowing the highway to move quickly and the boulevard above to hangle the rest of the traffic more smoothly through downtown.

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I was told the I-84 through Downtown was designed like that on purpose so people would slow down to go into the city. In fact, some exits are designed to allow cars to keep driving straight while getting off an exit, while the highway turns. I don't think designers every thought Hartford would no longer be a hot destination where people were on I-84 to drive into Downtown instead of through it, nor that the highway would have to deal with so many cars.

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It may have been designed that way, but let's face it. People love to drive fast. If the traffic is light enough, I probably would be floating around 60 in that stretch.

The best alternate for me is ... get rid of the viaduct. Re-route 84 onto 691 and 91 to the Charter Oak Bridge.

The road is bad, and I don't know how things could be made better.

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Since we're talking about rerouting, I think Route 9 from I-91 to I-84 should be resigned I-291. It's basically the saeme route I-291 was going to be, anyway.

Let's also continue that route under the stack traveling north so people can get off at Middle Road in Farmington. That would make it a lot easier for people to get to the hospital and free up some traffic where Exit 39 off of I-84 dumps onto Route 4. The road is already there.

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For those interested in a further discussion about I-84 through Hartford, consider attending one of two presentations coming up in April. A small committee has been meeting over the past couple of months to encourage State DOT to look at multiple replacement options for the I-84 viaduct (essentially from Sisson Ave. exit through Downtown to the river). The committee is coordinating a visit from John Norquist to discuss how other cities have dealt with highways through their cities and how Hartford can learn from them. Norquist is the former Mayor of Milwaukee and the current president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

From the flyer: "As Mayor of Milwaukee from 1988-2004, John Norquist championed the removal of an almost one mile stretch of elevated freeway through the city's central business district. The removal of the highway allowed for and helped spur more than $250 million of economic development in the heart of Milwaukee."

There are two public opportunities to hear from Norquist:

April 15th

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Yes. The event is being put on by the Hub of Hartford committee.

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For those who are interested.........

Removing Freeways - Restoring Cities

..........Hartford is not on the list yet, but New Haven is.

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Story:

http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=7156

The only problem removing it would be getting from 91S to 84W, and 84E to 91N:

91S to 84E - use existing

91N to 84W - use rt. 9 / 691

91N to 84E - Charter Oak

84E to 91S - use rt. 9 / 691

84W to 91N - use existing

84W to 91S - Charter Oak

That 34 stub is an embarrassment and needs to go, especially since they started building in the right of way of the never built highway. I would assume when the 95/91 interchange gets fixed up, the 34 x-way would be knocked down to a boulevard ... or should be.

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I went to the meeting and it was interesting. I am not sure what I took away from it, but it seems that people are interested in something happening. The focus of the meeting was tearing down, but it was really a lecture/presentation. I would like to see more about whats facing hartford and have a window into the process.

please ask me questions and I will answer. I may also come back here and write more when I figure out what you guys might want to hear about what was said.

Cheers!

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I attended the presentation also. It made me question, "Are highways [through cities with street grids] the vital vessels we think they are?" If I-84 collapsed tomorrow, people will find other ways.

John Norquist used Detroit as an example. Detroit solved their conjestion problem by building every freeway ever imagined. Half of the people left.

In Hartford, some people would say that removing 84 would cripple the city. I am still trying to figure out what 84 contributed to the city in the first place.

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This morning on Channel 3, their big story was the plan to bury I-84 between Sisson Avenue and the Connecticut River, but I can't find anything online about it...even on wfsb.com. Would this be like a Mini Big Dig?

What if they made the Boston-New York thruway use 691 and 91, as mentioned above, and make the stretch of 84 between Exits 28 and 56 prohibited to trucks, in addition to burying the highway in Hartford? Hmmm...then you would have to make sure trucks traveling north on Route 9 would get off and take Route 72 if they intend to get onto 84 at the Stacks.

I really get tickled when I think about that ugly elevated highway through Hartford being eliminated. The potential is endless.

Curious...let's say that today, right now, they decided to bury 84 in that stretch. How long would it take? When would it be done? At least we would have Boston to learn lessons from.

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Do whatever to I-84 it will make almost no difference. People use this highway as a locust for their dissatisfaction, but for the most part if follows nature boundaries in the city.

The tax system, the idiot corrupt mayor, the antipathy toward small business, the petty inspectors, the inefficient police department, these are what the city needs to address.

Fix that and both sides of I-84 will bloom. Don't fix those and it makes no difference what you do with I-84.

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Do whatever to I-84 it will make almost no difference. People use this highway as a locust for their dissatisfaction, but for the most part if follows nature boundaries in the city.

The tax system, the idiot corrupt mayor, the antipathy toward small business, the petty inspectors, the inefficient police department, these are what the city needs to address.

Fix that and both sides of I-84 will bloom. Don't fix those and it makes no difference what you do with I-84.

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I attended the presentation also. It made me question, "Are highways [through cities with street grids] the vital vessels we think they are?" If I-84 collapsed tomorrow, people will find other ways.

John Norquist used Detroit as an example. Detroit solved their conjestion problem by building every freeway ever imagined. Half of the people left.

In Hartford, some people would say that removing 84 would cripple the city. I am still trying to figure out what 84 contributed to the city in the first place.

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He said that Hartford should close 84 for a week or so and see what happens.

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I don't know what Seattle's like, but that would be a disaster in Hartford because the city's roads (especially in downtown) are not conducive to a lot of traffic at all. Just see what happens after a UConn game, even with cops out, or at 5pm. The lights never match up, intersections are always blocked and there are always cars parked/standing where they shouldn't be to block traffic. Throw in the good whole Connecticut cross (all red lights for pedestrians) and driving in Hartford is the worst when it's busy. I get into work late and leave work late just to avoid it.

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In Seattle they are tearing down their highway and one of the final steps before approving the tear down was to close the highway to see what happened. This highway had 110k daily drivers. The city braced for the worst, but he said the results were surprisingly underwhelming. Nothing happened. There were a few snafus, but people made it to work people made it home and people figured out options quickly. Ultimately they proved that they did not need this highway at all.

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FALSE! Not true at all! For one, they are not tearing it down; the state just made a 2012 deadline for a replacement option. Also when they close 99, it is a mess! We need to either build another ugly, waterfront blocking viaduct or a big dig tunnel. The folks that claim that we won't miss 99 are liars.

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^ You have been misinformed, big time. There was a surface street option, but it was the least popular option at the ballot box and isn't realistic. Right now they are preping to build a new viaduct and are preparing for the traffic hell that's going to be created when they close 99.

Have you ever been to Seattle? It is an isthmus. Take away 99 and all you have left is I-5. On top of that, it is a vital link to West Seattle, Ballard, the northend, and the port. The folks talking about eliminating 99 are anti-car zealots, and they are in the minority. Unless we can come up with the funding for a tunnel, ugly viaduct replacement it is.

If you won't take my word for it, play around with google.

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Sundodger,

A group in Hartford brought the former mayor of Milwalkie here to talk about options for our Viaduct. He is anti Viaduct for sure, but the stuff I posted were just me letting the other Hartford people know what happened at this event since many are interested but only a few of us attended.

I have been to Seattle, I love Seattle, but I have never driven through there and really likely never will worry about the Highway situation there. But the "expert" that I just last night listened to has some very interesting ideas. He is confident Seattle does not need the Highway, and he is also confident that it will go away. Hell he may have been talking about a different highway for all I know because I did not take notes.

anyhoo

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Do whatever to I-84 it will make almost no difference. People use this highway as a locust for their dissatisfaction, but for the most part if follows nature boundaries in the city.

The tax system, the idiot corrupt mayor, the antipathy toward small business, the petty inspectors, the inefficient police department, these are what the city needs to address.

Fix that and both sides of I-84 will bloom. Don't fix those and it makes no difference what you do with I-84.

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