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beerbeer

CONCEPT: Griffin Line Commuter Rail

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Of all the decisions in the last 20 years, the DOT decision to kill the Griffin Line is certainly among the stupidest. With a simple, "we have other priorities" Hartford lost a mass transit connection to the airport and an alternative to I-91 for the residents of Bloomfield, Windsor, Windsor Locks, Suffield and more.

The line would be up and running now. It could have been extended down the proposed busway. It would have been great for economy with less money going into gas tanks and more money in the pockets of Connecticut citizens to use how they see fit. Hell, with mass transit in place (meaning less pressure on the parking situation) maybe MetLife and ING are still downtown.

Hartford had the chance to be ahead of the curve. The DOT made sure that wouldn't happen.

What will the DOT and the state learn from this. NOTHIHNG!!!!

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Of all the decisions in the last 20 years, the DOT decision to kill the Griffin Line is certainly among the stupidest. With a simple, "we have other priorities" Hartford lost a mass transit connection to the airport and an alternative to I-91 for the residents of Bloomfield, Windsor, Windsor Locks, Suffield and more.

The line would be up and running now. It could have been extended down the proposed busway. It would have been great for economy with less money going into gas tanks and more money in the pockets of Connecticut citizens to use how they see fit. Hell, with mass transit in place (meaning less pressure on the parking situation) maybe MetLife and ING are still downtown.

Hartford had the chance to be ahead of the curve. The DOT made sure that wouldn't happen.

What will the DOT and the state learn from this. NOTHIHNG!!!!

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Honestly, with the exception of deciding not to put a highway through Bushnell Park, has any decision made by the DOT in the last 40+ years been a good one?

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The state's infrastructure was more advanced 75 years ago than it is today. There is nothing more pathetic than the Connecticut DOT.

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The state's infrastructure was more advanced 75 years ago than it is today. There is nothing more pathetic than the Connecticut DOT.

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I have to agree with Mikel on this one. The adequacy of the job the DOT does given its funding is irrelevant to the comparison of today's transportation infrastructure and that of 75 years ago. (It would be relevant if we were discussing reasons WHY the transportation infrastructure of today is inferior.) In terms of transportation options, its impossible to conclude anything execpt that today's infrastructure is inferior. There was a comprehensive inter and intra city trolley system. The state's passenger and freight rail system was much larger and more efficient than it currently is. For the busiest part of the state, the Merrit was up and running; and it, unlike today's car sewers, gave the term parkway real meaning. I will concede that today's transportation system handles more people than that of 75 years ago, and if your dream is to drive everywhere, even down the block, than I'm sure that you love it. If, however, you are one of the people who doesn't like spending hundreds of hours a year in your car, are too poor, young, or old to drive, likes to walk places, and wants to have multimodal transportation options available to you, than our current system is a disaster. And this analysis doesn't even factor in the massive cost of building and maintaining our current system, nor the damage it has done to the state's cities, environment, and quality of life.

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Jay,

Who put I-91 between Hartford and the river?

Who couldn't correctly install storm drains on I-84?

Who let the Mianus Bridge on I-95 fall into the river and kill motorists?

Who continues to misprice the gates at Bradley?

Who gave the parking lot builders and operators at BDL a deal that border on the criminal it is so much more lucrative than comparable projects?

Who designs every bridge in the state so poorly they look like on-ramps?

Did I mention the I-84 viaduct?

I could go on.

As for the Griffin Line, the federal government was picking up most of the tab. The original section from Hartford to Bloomfield only needed 1 million dollars. The DOT refused to pay a penny,passing that cost to the City f Hartford which couldn't muster the money or the votes.

MetLife is on record that parking was the problem. You can bet it played a role with ING as well.

The DOT has a 1950s mentality. It takes money from the taxpayers and gives it to the road builders. It's record is a disgrace.

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DOT stands for "Don't Offer Transportation". This is possibly the most pathetic wing of State Government, with the possible exception of DCF, and maybe they've cleaned up their act. Let's see what the new Commish can do, he doesn't seem to be a highway guy according to his background, but time will tell...

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Of all the decisions in the last 20 years, the DOT decision to kill the Griffin Line is certainly among the stupidest. With a simple, "we have other priorities" Hartford lost a mass transit connection to the airport and an alternative to I-91 for the residents of Bloomfield, Windsor, Windsor Locks, Suffield and more.

The line would be up and running now. It could have been extended down the proposed busway. It would have been great for economy with less money going into gas tanks and more money in the pockets of Connecticut citizens to use how they see fit. Hell, with mass transit in place (meaning less pressure on the parking situation) maybe MetLife and ING are still downtown.

Hartford had the chance to be ahead of the curve. The DOT made sure that wouldn't happen.

What will the DOT and the state learn from this. NOTHIHNG!!!!

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It is yet another of the many items on our what if list :(

I am glad that transportation leaders are looking at all of the options. I am not sure if Griffin is the best idea now that we have the NH-H-S commuter line coming down the tracks (excust the pun), but I think its is extremely important that we continue to look to the future and to the entire system. As I posted in the waterbury Hartford thread, I think setting up lines that work with the NHHS line would be the best possible scenerio.

Griffin line should be extended S to middletown as well. the tracks are mostly still there, and the benefit gained by connecting middletown would be significant.

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The Griffin Line would have helped the communities west of Hartford by taking some development to the north of the city. It probably would also have saved jobs in the city.

Once again, the DOT is still in opposition.

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I would not say the DOT is in opposition, I actually like this DOT guy to some degree. he supports waterbury rail over the busway. he got the Hiawatha line built in minneapolis, and got the commuter line approved too.

no DOT guy will ever be ideal, but I like that he keeps saying that New Haven-Springfield is his priority 1

the reality is that he could exhause his resources in 3 different directions regarding rail around Hartford right now, and knowing this state, we could end up with nothing.

but by focusing on the largest most federally backed plan with the largest impact on the state, he is doing the right thing.

once we get the commuter rail, people in bloomfield will be begging to be included in the party, and people in windsor locks will be beotching about the bus trffic to the airport as will people all along the line be beotching about having to transfer to a bus to the airport.

So, as soon as the line opens you can be damn sure that the Griffin line would get a big boost in interest.

If you look at minneapolis, they built the Hiawatha line between downtown and Mall of America. Ridership was strong and everyone immediately saw the benefit of rail. the University ave line known as the central corridore is now in late planning stages to connect downtown St Paul and downtown Minneapolis. this 2nd line is a direct result of the first line being successful. I mean who builds mass transit to a mall? people afraid of urbanity do and well, it paid off in the long run. the central line makes so much more sense, but the suburban tax payers could not support building a line in the urban areas, they needed something familiar like the mall to make it personal to them.

in CT, connecting the region is acceptable to tax payers. building a rail line seen as only helping hartford would be shot down hard and fast by those who hate the capitol and think their tax dollars need to stay in Avon, or Cheshire. Once the "main line" is built, a project like the waterbury line or Griffin line make more sense to the tax payers because the first one will have proven itself and the other lines just increase the usefullness of it.

so, yeah, I see what the guy is doing. do i wish we could find a way to do middletown to bloomfield, Waterbury to Rockville, New Haven to Northampton? hell yeah!

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"And so far, the idea isn't being welcomed at DOT headquarters. Commissioner Joseph Marie neither attended nor sent a senior staff member in his place."

Of course not.

The state should push this through. I'm tired of the interests of the few coming before the benefit of the many. There is no better way to sell conventions than to let people know they can get off their flight, step onto a train and get off in downtown. (Wasn't the Griffin line going to use the rail line that runs right under the Convention Center?). Where else would commuter transit be killed by suburbanites in favor of the automobile? Does this happen anywhere else? I'm sorry, but people who complain about rail service running through their neighborhoods should have thought twice before buying a home near rail lines. Its like people who buy a house near the airport and then complain about the noise.

This idea is probably the best of all the rail ideas floated over the years. Not only does it connect downtown to the airport, but would be used by commuters from points north... all on existing rails.

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This idea is probably the best of all the rail ideas floated over the years. Not only does it connect downtown to the airport, but would be used by commuters from points north... all on existing rails.

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Is there really enough density along the Griffin Line to make it a priority? I don't think so, and I'm a rail person. I'm also not a frequent flyer but it seems we should connect Middletown/Manchester/New Britain way before the Griffin Line is activiated. That said, preserve the rail corridor.

And, the NHHS commuter rail should be the ONLY priority right now.

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"a contingent of East Granby homeowners complained it would ruin their town's rural character". Awesome. I'll now assume they will all be willing to demolish their homes and let the fields and forests take back over since their crappy houses also ruin "their town's rural character".

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We have so much backward thinking to overcome, still. Connecting the airport to the regional center via rail is something that should have happened years ago. It's especially pathetic that the rail line is already partially built, yet the DOT can't stir themselves to do anything about this. Of course, if it involved widening a road to nine lanes or building some massive out of scale highway interchange, the DOT and the road contractors who pull their strings would have started this a decade ago, insisting how necessary the project was.

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McCluskey is definitely emerging as a key rail transit advocate. I really like his and Donald DeFronzo's thinking lately.

Hartford Courant

To transit activists, the Griffin Rail Line is a symbol of lost opportunity. In 1998, a proposal to extend the line to Bradley Airport and use it for rail passenger service was shot down by lack of regional consensus and a state Department of Transportation still firmly committed to highways.

More than 80 public officials, activists, business people and reporters recently toured the state-owned line, which runs from Union Station in Hartford to the Day Hill Road/ Blue Hills Avenue area in Windsor. Enough has changed that we should take another look at using the Griffin Line for commuter rail service and extending it five miles to Bradley Airport.

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I saw a rail map today at the Dept. of Public Works. The Griffin Line runs straight from the north into the north meadows to a fork where it can go straight under the Convention Center (Springfield Line) or to Union Station (New Haven Line)

Don't know if this is common knowledge but it was new to me and I thought I would pass it along.

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