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HartfordTycoon

CONCEPT: Hartford Bus Transit Center

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I have to admit that there are some aspects of this plan that are pretty good. I think moving the crowds off of Main St. would help improve the atmosphere in the core of Downtown while spurring development near Union Station. I am also a bit intrigued by the idea of resurrecting the Griffin line as a busway. I am still not sold on busways in general but would not automatically oppose one in this corridor simply based on a preference for rail. If this region is really committed to making bus rapid transit viable it does have some advantages over commuter rail in the fact that it would have much greater frequency, every 5 minutes as opposed to every 30. This is something that light rail could certainly match but admittedly at a greater cost and nobody of consequence is currently talking about light rail in greater Hartford. Maybe they should be though, as I have seen it starting to be mentioned in Stamford and New Haven.

Hartford Courant

HARTFORD - A parking lot just north of Union Station could become Hartford's new bus transit center, a study by a regional planning agency suggests.

The center could handle buses from the planned New Britain busway, and also would replace the stretch of Main Street outside the Old State House as the chief transfer point for CT Transit bus riders, according to a preliminary study by the Capitol Region Council of Governments.

"These are all just concepts right now

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I am supportive of using some kind of busway to connect Day Hill RD to Union station. its a suburban corridore and may need a surburan solution

I am supportive of using Union Station as the primary bus switching location in Hartford.

I am supportive of getting many busses out of the core of downtown since they clog the area in my opinion.

I am supportive of moving the people waiting for buses from around the old statehouse as it will make the area look much more attractive to tourists and the generally xenophobic suburbanites of Greater Hartford.

mind you it might make the area look quite a bit quieter as well.

I do not support the New Britain Busway in any way shape or form.

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Did anyone catch the part in this article about these people wanting to make the Griffin Line into a busway too? :sick:

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I almost want the bus lobby to get all excited about the Griffin line busway, and to give up on the New Britain busway.

after all, I think the NH-H-S commuter rail will connect the city nicely to the airport, and Day Hill road is so FUBAR, and sprawley, it is not ideal for train anyways. with re worked bus routes along day hill connecting to the Windsor commuter station, and to the griffin line busway. fine by my.

that being said I hope that by the time anything like this could happen, rail will be a smashing success, and the at that time planned busway is scrapped for a commuter line running from Simsbury to Middletown

my green line from the train thread :)

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Buses are a waste of resources, period.

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I am not getting into bus versus rail here.

Whatever the outcome, I think we need a reconfigured bus system.

I would get rid of the spokes and hub pattern (most buses go downtown).

Hubs would be distrubuted throughout the region......... WHC, downtown Hartford, EH, Manchester, New Britain, Bloomfield/Windsor and Wethersfield etc.....

Non stop buses would connect these hubs via the quickest/most direct route.

Since local buses would operate in their own regions, local bus rides would be relatively short.

If you needed to go from New Britain to Manchester, you would take a non stop bus that connects the respective hubs.

Another scenerio: You work in downtown Hartford and live near Bishops Corner (northern West Hartford). Take a hub to hub from downtown to WHC. Transfer to a local bus that just runs up and down Main Street.

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I am not getting into bus versus rail here.

Whatever the outcome, I think we need a reconfigured bus system.

I would get rid of the spokes and hub pattern (most buses go downtown).

Hubs would be distrubuted throughout the region......... WHC, downtown Hartford, EH, Manchester, New Britain, Bloomfield/Windsor and Wethersfield etc.....

Non stop buses would connect these hubs via the quickest/most direct route.

Since local buses would operate in their own regions, local bus rides would be relatively short.

If you needed to go from New Britain to Manchester, you would take a non stop bus that connects the respective hubs.

Another scenerio: You work in downtown Hartford and live near Bishops Corner (northern West Hartford). Take a hub to hub from downtown to WHC. Transfer to a local bus that just runs up and down Main Street.

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not a bad idea, but I think what happens is that you have to determine the hubs.

this causes a problem because towns will likely want to be a hub so they can gain traffic for businesses.

so you give downtown manchester hub status right?

then east hartford and Vernon complain. buckland business leaders gripe. bla bla bla

is Glastonbury a hub? how many hubs east of the river?

It is easy to say Manchester is a hub, downtown Hartford is a hub, WHC is a hub, New Britain too, but once you get past the major satalite downtowns where do you go and where do you draw the line.

I still think it makes sense to get busses out of downtown.

really, downtown should mainly have commuter busses coming from those hub towns and those buses should generally be dropping and picking people up from the fringe of downtown, not the center.

the only busses that should be stopping near the old statehouse should be the locals, and I think they should be stopping in front of city hall, and CCC instead of the old state house.

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Incorporating the bus transit system into the old railroad station was a very good idea. Rather than build a whole new complex across the street, Union Station should be renovated into a modern inter-modal complex. Don't throw away a great idea.

Then, build a large parking structure across the street. A new garage with hundreds of spaces would give downtown much needed parking that would help businesses during the day and provide easy access to the nightlife scene in the city.

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Incorporating the bus transit system into the old railroad station was a very good idea. Rather than build a whole new complex across the street, Union Station should be renovated into a modern inter-modal complex. Don't throw away a great idea.

Then, build a large parking structure across the street. A new garage with hundreds of spaces would give downtown much needed parking that would help businesses during the day and provide easy access to the nightlife scene in the city.

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No way. Asylum Hill does not need a parking garage.

Nonsense, the city, especially western downtown, needs garages to free up the surface lots for development.

The point of this station should be as a destination, not a commuter parking lot.

Union Station would still become the destination.

Having more cars downtown for people to travel elsewhere makes no sense at all.

More cars means more business, more patrons for entertainment, more dollars moving from the suburbs to the city, and a garage keeps them compact and tidy.

The area around Union Station in New Haven is terrible, we should look at South Station or Grand Central instead.

What!?! Both Grand and South Station are in the middle of huge cities with tens of thousands of passengers coming through each day. New Haven is located across the street from public housing, Neither situation relates remotely to Hartford's Union station. It's specious.

Also a separate bus terminal makes sense as the rear of Union Station would be great if it were (re-)developed.

Keep you fingers crossed on that one. Ironically, what you're against, the development Union Station into a transportation hub that would actually accomplish that goal while serving as a economic driver for western downtown

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You're wrong and seemingly stuck in the 1980's. The most vibrant cities have the least amount of cars. The money should be spent on getting people out of their cars, not on attracting more vehicles downtown. I-84 needs to be history.

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You're wrong and seemingly stuck in the 1980's. The most vibrant cities have the least amount of cars. The money should be spent on getting people out of their cars, not on attracting more vehicles downtown. I-84 needs to be history.

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That's just wrong. Even the general mangers of the best transit companies in America (Washington, San Francisco, New York) understand that cars are NOT the enemy. Cars are an important part of any transportation system. The key is to minimize single occupancy vehicles during high traffic periods and to reduce congestion.

Centralizing cars in garages has proven to be a successful strategy in creating density and walkable urban areas.

The money should be spent giving viable transportation options to car owners and providing mobility to folks who cannot afford cars. The idea that the interstate highway system should be history is not held by anyone with who works in transit.

I've attended (and spoken at) numerous American Public Transit Association (APTA) conventions and have bumped into no one who shares your views.

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America is not Europe.

We have forsaken mass transit for the personal automobile. we have forsaken walkable mid density development for either high density or low density single family sprawl.

As Hartford starts to get mass transit going, yes, things will improve. but Cars will not go away. cars are not the bad guy as much as the way we treat the car is(was the bad thing)

knocking buildings down for parking was and is wrong. We allowed vehicles to grow larger and we put their value above that of the people and the structures in the city.

ok so the 80s are over. we are building smaller cars, we are building hybrids, biodiesels electrics bla bla. It seems we might not be using internal combustion engines in 10-20 years, but we WILL still be predominantly using cars. Cities have to still make room for the car. or cars need to find space in the cities.

in Hartford, there is a ton of parking. in every mid sized city there is a ton of parking lots. this is true. problem with hartford is that many of our parking lots are low density lots. valuable space once occupied with buildings now are parking lots. Parking lots that are usually quite full(seriously I can see several from my office and they are mostly full most of the time. the exceptions are the Morgan ST garage and the church ST garage has a little room on the roof. The people of Hartford however are adverse to walking fore than 2 blocks for parking. met life used to run a bus between city place and church street!!???!!? seriously they did.

Downtown West has the most parking pressure on it still. Morgan Street, the convention center, and sage allen fixed Downtown East. Hopefully the NH-H-S commuter rail will make parking less of an issue in downtown W, but right now there is a huge building being town down for parking, there were 2 new Aetna garages built, and there is still a huge shortage of parking, If the train station were used as an interodal transfer staion (as it should) there would be even more demand for parking.

If the huge area near the station were used for a parking garage and transportation center it would take pressure off Allyn Street and the owners would make less leasing it to Propark. propark might even not renew its lease and the owner would have to figure out another revenue stream. maybe even selling the property to a developer.

you guys are both right in some ways but the trusth as usual lies somewhere in the middle.

here is a map I made as an extension of a Bill M idea.

FixingDowntownPH7a.jpg

the 2 parking garages I put into the space created would not only allow a potential future to operate and succeed without the church street garage, but also alleviate all kinds of traffic issues in downtown W making all the orange space easy to develop.

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"problem with hartford is that many of our parking lots are low density lots."

I agree 100%. I have used this example before, look at Santa Monica. By building numerous parking structures around 3rd Street, they were able to ban cars from 3rd and build a walkable, lively outdoor center. No parking garages, no promenade. This would not be possible with surface lots. One other thing, the parking garages in Santa Monica are CHEAP.

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Cheap is a reflection of demand as well as cost associated with construction and operation.

The physical layout of a garage has a great deal to do with its cost. Small garages on irregular sites yield inefficiencies that drive the cost. An ideally laid out garage is going to require bays of around 60' in order to double load the driving aisles with parking on either side. If you have a 100' wide site, you are going to lose efficiency that will show up in the bottom line. An ideal layout will work out to something around 300 square feet per space, an inefficent design might yield a space for every 500 sf

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The reason parking is cheap is because Santa Monica realizes that parking is a loss leader.

City owned parking garages should not be revenue generators, they should revenue neutral or loss leaders. They are investments that produce money though the increase of value and development of the surrounding area.

I agree that " The garage would put pressure on the land owners near by to develop their parking lots because they are no longer usefull and because they are now linked to mass transit."

And importantly, the competition from a large city parking facility would make the private surface lots less profitable. When it is more desirable to develop the land rather than collect parking fees, it will be developed.

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The reason parking is cheap is because Santa Monica realizes that parking is a loss leader.

City owned parking garages should not be revenue generators, they should revenue neutral or loss leaders. They are investments that produce money though the increase of value and development of the surrounding area.

I agree that " The garage would put pressure on the land owners near by to develop their parking lots because they are no longer usefull and because they are now linked to mass transit."

And importantly, the competition from a large city parking facility would make the private surface lots less profitable. When it is more desirable to develop the land rather than collect parking fees, it will be developed.

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Here is a little info from the city budget about parking revenues

The Morgan street garage has seen steady decrease in United Health parkers from 1222 in Feb 06 to 863 in Apr 09 a difference of 40k/month

With UHC moving to city place I am sure the parking authority will be feeling the loss untill a new tenant can be found at riverfront plaza.

The city lost big when met life left church street with its 800 parkers, but it looks like the UHC parkers will take their place.

the MAT garage has gained traffic as the stilts building has gained tennancy. the garage is near capacity

Key objective for fiscal 2009-2010

-Solicit new customers at Morgan St and Church St garages

-Construct a new parking structure in the highest parking demand area of the CBD

I know the city has been after a new garage for quite some time. looking at the numbers though it looks like the parking Authority is quite profitable and generates a pretty nice revenue for the city. I would like to see the city get this other garage (assuming its a good plan) and continue to put pressure on the independent for profit parking companies.

"Highest parking demand area" would have to refer to City place.

the most glaring parking holes are City Place I and II and State House Square.

State house Square has enough "small garages" near by that I think it makes up for the buildings lack of parking. But the Bank of America building also is apparently fairly short on parking. I highly doubt the city would build parking on the asylum and Main surface lot, and I also doubt that the city would change its mind on assisting Grunberg in building an underground garage behind 777 Main between Asylum and Pearl.

I think the city still has eyes on the SBC/ATT lot South of City Place/Goodwin.

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not a bad idea, but I think what happens is that you have to determine the hubs.

this causes a problem because towns will likely want to be a hub so they can gain traffic for businesses.

so you give downtown manchester hub status right?

then east hartford and Vernon complain. buckland business leaders gripe. bla bla bla

is Glastonbury a hub? how many hubs east of the river?

It is easy to say Manchester is a hub, downtown Hartford is a hub, WHC is a hub, New Britain too, but once you get past the major satalite downtowns where do you go and where do you draw the line.

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Thats good news Bill. I definately would like to be more involved in the while Viaduct solution.

I think it would be interesting to get a few people together to brainstorm on the ideas that you have and well, my adendum and of course others to find the most affordable and efficent(therefore do-able) way to "fix Hartford"

How do you get on the Hubs mailing list?

I signed up at a meeting and never got mail, and never remember to look for meetings.

I want to be involved, but am scatterbrained enough to manage to miss everything :)

cheers

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Tunneling is a quagmire. Lowering doesn't solve the problems either, mainly spliting the city in half and pollution. There needs to be a long-term plan to simply remove I-84 in Hartford. Hartford could use that land back on the tax rolls and nearly everyone using that highway is not stopping in Hartford anyway.

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cut and cover

just like thre NYC subway did at first.

very cost effective .

once covered, the surface would be reclaimed kind of like that map I made.

and the cool thing is you could do it one direction at a time to keep traffic flowing.

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cut and cover

just like thre NYC subway did at first.

very cost effective .

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