Hartford Residents Join Lawmakers and say Not so Fast to Busway

August 24, 2012
Flower Street railroad crossing

Flower Street railroad crossing

Hartford, CT – Senator Joe Markley and Representatives Whit Betts and Rob Sampson are applauding the business owners and Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association in their fight against the busway. The state department of transportation is considering closing down Flower Street in Hartford to make way for the busway.

Senator Joe Markley said, “The idea that people in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford would have to choose between the busway and having their road open is ridiculous. “

The Department of Transportation held a public hearing at the agency’s headquarters in Newington Thursday August 23, to discuss the potential closing of Flower Street.

Many of the people testifying at the hearing expressed concern over the CTDOT’s decision to sacrifice a street in favor of the 9.4 mile Hartford-New Britain Busway.

“I think it’s a waste of money, in my opinion,” said Eric Barreira, a Dunkin’ Donuts shop owner. “I’m not going to take the bus, and I’m pretty sure 95 percent of the people that are here are not going to take that bus.”

“I would probably lose about 30-to-50 percent of my business,” said Don Mancini, the owner of the Red Rock Tavern.

“This is another example of the Malloy administration ignoring the will of the people and plowing through with a project no one wants,” said Senator Markley. “Again we are seeing the destructive path of this busway before it’s even up and running.”

The busway is expected to cost $600 million and according to CTDOT federal funding deadlines call for the project to be completed by April 2015.

“What more will it take to get DOT, Congressmen Larson and Murphy, and the Malloy administration to finally accept the fact that Connecticut citizens do not want this $600 million busway built ? ” said Rep. Betts.

CTDOT engineers testified they are considering redirecting traffic to Broad Street if Flower Street is closed.

“Closing Flower Street and reconstructing Broad Street at the same time is just going to be a disaster,” said Jennifer Cassidy, from the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association.

“The CTDOT engineers said their own study found approximately 6,000 cars travel through the intersection at Flower Street – their solution is to reroute all of those cars to another intersection they claim is unsafe. This project gets more ridiculous by the day,” said Rep. Sampson.

The hearing officer has at least 30 days to make a decision on whether Flower Street will be closed on November 1st.