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Redesigned Trumbull Street

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Pedestrian Trumbull Cheered

Merchants Welcome $3 Million Plan To Transform Street

November 11, 2004

By TOM PULEO, Courant Staff Writer

Trumbull Street downtown would cater more to pedestrians than motorists under a new streetscape plan that has merchants and property owners encouraged.

The $3 million effort would transform Trumbull Street - now an uneven mini-highway connecting two sections of downtown - into a friendly boulevard designed to escort pedestrians along landscaped brick sidewalks from Bushnell Park to the remade Hilton hotel.

"It needs to be softened and become more connected," Ron Morneault, president of Business for Downtown Hartford, said Wednesday after meeting with city planners and store and property owners. "Right now, it's unfriendly, cold. The whole thing is wrong."

Morneault, who owns Tuesday's clothing store on Asylum Street near Trumbull, said the only drawback he could envision is a poorly designed plan. But Morneault said he likes the preliminary concepts outlined by Cheshire-based Milone & MacBroom Inc. architects at the morning meeting.

Those ideas include wider, brick sidewalks; an improved pedestrian island in the middle of the street; better crosswalks and new shrubs, trees, furniture, light fixtures and tourist signs. The city is paying for the architectural plan while urging property owners to cover much of the rest. Among the big landlords on Trumbull Street are Northland Investment Corp. and Konover Development Corp.

Bob Colangelo Jr., owner of Max Bibo's on Trumbull Street, likes what he hears.

"I would love to see them do the sidewalks," he said from the door, pointing to a patchwork of broken-away concrete slabs and lumpy mounds of asphalt fill. "It's not real pleasant, you know."

Northland has helped generate the excitement on Trumbull Street - and calls for street improvements - with its $160 makeover of the Civic Center mall. The project, known as "Hartford 21," is underway and will feature a 36-story apartment tower at Asylum and Trumbull streets, in addition to new shops, restaurants, offices and public gathering spots. The project is expected to open in the summer of 2006.

The MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce also likes the "imaginative" preliminary design work, said vice president Nadine Francis West. She is encouraged to see city hall, the chamber and private interests all pulling in the same direction.

"I'm not sure we've seen this level of cooperation in a long time," she said. "It's exciting."

From The Hartford Courant

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This is a wonderful plan becasue Trumball Street is a major artery through Dowtown Hartford. The Street runs from down by Bushnell Park where there are currently hundreds of apartments and new apartments also being built. It then runs up towards I-84. The street is also home the Civic Center/ Hartford 21 project (36 story, 262 unit residential tower) and City Place 1 and 2 are on the corners off Trumball Street and City Place 1 is the largest Hartford skyscraper at 38 stories.

Currently the street is a little pedestrian friendly but will not be able to handle the influx of more people which is why this is a great project.

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This is great news. Downtown Hartford really seems to be headed in the right direction. Hopefully funds can be found to expand this to many surrounding streets.

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Let's hope so because many of the business people who work downtown have learned to tolerate the traffic through downtown streets which makes crossing a nightmare but many tourists and new residents should not have to deal with this.

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Let's hope so because many of the business people who work downtown have learned to tolerate the traffic through downtown streets which makes crossing a nightmare but many tourists and new residents should not have to deal with this.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. Playing real-life frogger to get to a sandwich shop is not cool. It amazes me that so many officials in cities across the country reject simple traffic-calming improvements.

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