“The design of cities begins with the design of streets. To make a good city, you need good streets, and that means streets where people want to be. Streets need to be safe and comfortable, they need to be interesting and they need to be beautiful. They need to be places.”
Streets help define and create our neighborhoods and are public spaces where we live, work and play. They are formed by the 'streetscape' - the street’s overall appearance as expressed by the relationship between road size, landscaping, decorative lighting, sidewalks, green spaces, bike lanes, public transit facilities and handicapped accessibility. On-street parking and architecture also contributes to the streetscape. Parking and bikelanes can be a safeguard between pedestrians on sidewalks and passing vehicles in the travel lanes while supporting small businesses. Buildings help frame views and define the edge of the public space. The rhythm of building façades unifies a street and architectural focal points, such as a clock tower, unite the corridor when visible from many locations. When these elements and traffic management measures are appropriately planned and engineered, they create great city streets that are safe, comfortable and enjoyable destinations.
Our streets are an essential part of our well-being and can promote healthy communities. They should be safe, comfortable, and provide convenient access to community destinations and public places by walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation. They should accommodate everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity. This describes the basic philosophy and principle of a ‘complete street’ and Hartford’s Complete Streets Ordinance works to achieve this for all public rights of way. This policy also strives to achieve Vision Zero principles to eliminate traffic-related fatalities. The City has created a Complete Streets Committee to oversee this initiative. Already that Committee’s efforts have produced results – in 2016 Hartford was recognized as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community. Those interested in Complete Streets topics can contact Sandy Fry.
Identifying and Designing Streetscape Projects
For over a decade, the City and State has invested millions of dollars to plan, design, engineer and construct streetscapes throughout the community. From the first projects on Maple Avenue and Park Street, to the most recent on Pratt Street and Farmington Avenue, the City continues to invest in making streets safe and enjoyable.
In Hartford, streetscape design is a collaboration between community groups, businesses, residents, NRZs, the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Development Services, to name a few. Streetscape ideas often originate because of the need to address safety concerns, as a result of aging infrastructure, or through local neighborhood groups.
For more information regarding streetscapes or complete streets in Hartford contact:
See our Featured Projects page for more information regarding ongoing or completed projects.