The consultant for the gave a presentation to members of the along with town and state officials Thursday morning in which he presented alternatives to help alleviate future traffic flow issues.
Traffic along the Route 3 corridor is in the next 20 years, according to a study by Tighe & Bond and presented to the town in late June.
The mission of the conceptual plan, which studies Route 3 from New Britain Avenue to the Cromwell town line, is to determine if the transportation system can accommodate today’s traffic volume for pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles and any potential growth in the next 20 years.
The report will study existing conditions, analyze future trends and develop alternatives to any problems while preserving the character of the neighborhoods in the area, said Robert Aloise, who is the principal transportation engineer for the Capital Region Council of Governments.
“In order to understand what the changes are, we have to know what is happening today,” stated Christopher O. Granatini, who is a project manager with Tighe & Bond.
Granatini said the only current problem area in the Route 3 corridor is Main and West streets intersection where traffic levels of service are below recommended standards.
”In 2010, based on the data we collected in general, traffic operations were pretty good," he said.
However, traffic flow issues are expected to occur in the next 20 years at several intersections along the Route 3 corridor including New Britain and Cromwell Avenue, Elm Street and Cromwell Avenue and West and Main streets, according to the study by Tighe & Bond.
“It is basically almost every intersection on Route 3 expect for Cold Spring Road and the entrance to West Side Market,” Granatini stated.
He presented a list of alternatives to the audience, which included extending Rhodes Road and Corporate Place to help alleviate some traffic congestions. He also suggested widening the section of Elm Street from the Route 3 intersection to just before the . The study showed adding a right turn lane on France Street near the Route 3 intersection would help with traffic backup.
In the traffic study, which was started about a year ago, changes would also be suggested for the Heinkel Way and Brook Street intersection. One idea was adding a modern roundabout to the intersection, which would help process trucks and slow down motorists. Another option called for realigning Brook Street, which would take motorists out of a residential area and onto a side street, Granatini said.
Some of the Route 3 improvements could call for “some minor widening of lanes,” Granatini stated. Some land near the road may be taken or if possible it may be mitigated, he added. Some “sidewalks might have to get an easement,” according to Granatini.
“We are going to do whatever we can to mitigate the effects on private property,” Granatini said.
Ken Yavis, owner of the , attended Thursday's meeting to learn how his property would be affected by the changes. He added that he is taking a positive approach to the study.
"We need to improve traffic flow, but we need to do it properly," he stated.
These alternatives in the traffic study are not final and the final results will be presented to the Town Council during this spring. No funding has been obtained for any of the possible upgrades to Route 3, Aloise said.
Thursday’s meeting was the first public viewing of the possible alternatives to Route 3. The only other group to see the plans was the Steering Committee, which includes councilors, town staff, Department of Transportation employees and Capital Region Council of Governments members.
“The Steering Committee is the decision makers in what goes forward in the study process,” Aloise said. “We also want to have public involvement.”
The consultant will make a presentation to the Town Council on Feb. 6 and a public meeting will be held on Feb. 14 at the Economic Development Subcommittee. Residents are welcome to attend either meeting and ask questions or raise concerns.
“We are trying to gather as much information as possible,” Aloise stated.