The Economic Development Subcommittee will host a forum Tuesday night to discuss the "safety and operational deficiencies and needs" along the Route 3 traffic corridor and preliminary responses on how to help improve them.
Traffic along the corridor is expected to increase 20 to 30 percent in the next 20 years, according to a study by Tighe & Bond that was . Currently, Tighe & Bond is in the area while making it safe for pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists.
Tighe & Bond presented the to the Town Council on Feb. 7 and will be present it again at Tuesday's meeting. The preliminary changes proposed in the study include:
- Creating two lanes through the intersection of Inwood Road at Cromwell Avenue to meet up with the two lanes in Cromwell on Cromwell Avenue.
- Widen Cromwell Avenue to the west of its intersection with Brook Street to develop a left turn “pocket” from Cromwell Avenue onto Brook Street.
- Create a right turn lane on France Street for cars turning onto Cromwell Avenue. The long-range solution for the intersection would be to widen Route 3 between West and France streets to provide two left turn lanes on France Street.
- Increase capacity at Elm Street and Cromwell Avenue by creating a double left turn lane onto Elm Street. Widen a section of Elm Street, from Cromwell Avenue to the Big Y Supermarket, to create two lanes. Doing so would improve traffic conditions all the way down to New Britain Avenue, Granatini said. Create a northbound right turn lane from Cromwell Avenue onto Elm Street.
- Lengthen the right turn at the intersection of New Britain and Cromwell avenues and lengthen the right turn lane on New Britain Avenue to get more cars into that lane. Carry the current two through lanes on New Britain Avenue so they extend farther along the highway.
- Do a minor realignment at West and Main streets to make the intersection more “conventional.”
- Realign Brook Street at its intersection with Henkel Way in order to make Brook Street more of a side street instead of a through street. Create a “roundabout” or traffic circle at that intersection to provide a buffer of sorts between the residential neighborhoods on Brook Street and a nearby business park. Granatini said the study would also recommend planting more trees along Brook Street to make it feel narrower and slow down traffic. A common complain in the area now is that cars travel too fast on the road. The roundabout also would allow tractor-trailer trucks that currently accidentally travel down Brook Street as they seek the business park to do a 360-degree turn and get back to the business park. The roundabout would help keep trucks from entering the residential areas along Brook Street, Granatini said.
- Create extra lanes along West Street to facilitate access to the Route 3 Bridge. This would get people off more easily onto the highway, he said.
- Connect Elm and West streets to dampen traffic volume coming off the Route 3 Bridge and onto West Street, allowing motorists the choice to bypass West Street by going down Elm Street.
- Make improvements for pedestrian and bike improvements along Route 99 up to the Silas Deane Highway, including building a five-foot shoulder along Main Street to accommodate bicycle traffic.
You can view sections of the study here.
Chris Granatini, one of the traffic consultants working on the report, will be one of the main speakers Tuesday night. However, the public is encouraged to attend and give their input.
Granatini has previously said the study, which is being overseen by the Capital Region Council of Governments, should be completed by the spring. The final results from the study should be presented at a meeting around that time.
Tuesday's meeting will be held inside the Council Chambers at at 7 p.m. The Route 3 traffic forum will follow the Economic Development Subcommittee's monthly meeting and will be the third that study results have been shared with the public.
For more information, contact Project Manager Robert Aloise by email or by calling him at 8600-522-2217, ext. 214.