MAYOR BRONIN THANKS MEMBERS OF THE COMMON COUNCIL AND MEMBERS OF THE COMPLETE STREETS WORKING GROUP FOR WORKING WITH HIM TO PASS THE COMPLETE STREETS ORDINANCE
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 28, 2016) — Today, Mayor Bronin thanks members of the Court of Common Council and members of the Complete Streets Working Group for working with him on the Complete Streets Ordinance that passed on September 12, 2016.
Complete Streets are streets designed, operated, and maintained to ensure safe travel for users of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or taking transit. The Hartford ordinance requires City departments to work toward creating a Complete Streets network in Hartford by making design and maintenance decisions on all rights of way in accordance with Complete Streets principles, developing a Complete Streets Plan, and better coordinating with utility companies and others who do work on City streets.
The ordinance also enhances and expands upon the Complete Streets principles already enshrined in Hartford’s award-winning new zoning code and requires the City to designate a Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator who oversees these efforts.
“This ordinance positions Hartford as a leader in its efforts to create a healthier, more walkable city in which to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Bronin. “I’m grateful to the members of the Complete Streets Working Group, who worked for many months to design a thoughtful and progressive set of policies, and grateful also to the City Council for their partnership in this effort. We want Hartford’s streets to be safe and accessible for all users, whether they’re in a car, on a bike, or on foot.”
According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, Hartford joins the ranks of Stamford (CT) and just 30 other American cities with over 100,000 persons – including Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and Philadelphia – to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance. Many other cities have adopted non-binding resolutions, policies, executive orders, or design plans.
Common Council Member Julio A. Concepción applauded the initiative, saying, "City Council is excited to support the City’s new Complete Streets Ordinance. Not only will a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly Hartford provide safer streets for residents and visitors, but it should better connect our neighborhoods and lead to a more vibrant and economically thriving Capital City."
Hartford’s Complete Streets Policy was initially drafted by the Complete Streets Working Group, now chaired by City of Hartford Principal Planner Sandra Fry, who also serves as the City’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator under the new ordinance. Other members of the working group have included representatives of the Capitol Region Council of Governments, Travelers, the Greater Hartford Transit District, Hartford Public Schools, the iQuilt Plan, Bike Walk CT, the East Coast Greenway, the BiCi Co. program of the Center for Latino Progress, various City departments, various City Council members’ staff, and many other private and nonprofit entities.
"The Complete Streets policy, in combination with the recently updated zoning regulations, moves our city forward in designing for healthy, active transportation and transit,” said Tony Cherolis, the coordinator of the BiCi Co. program and a member of the Complete Streets Working Group. "Our residents — including those who already use active transportation and those with limited household budgets — will benefit from safer and more convenient mobility."
The principles of the Complete Streets policy include:
• Making the public right of way safer and more inviting for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and those taking transit or driving, by reducing the frequency and severity of vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian-related crashes and by designing and managing streets to encourage travel at appropriate volumes and safe speeds that will achieve, to the extent possible, “Vision Zero” principles to eliminate traffic-related fatalities
• Improving and enhancing the health, wellness, and physical fitness of the city’s residents by providing more safe, convenient and accessible opportunities for bicycling and walking
• Improving the city’s quality of life and local economy by providing a high-quality, multi-modal transportation network that connects neighborhoods to places of employment, shopping, entertainment, social gathering, outdoor seating, historic assets, off-road pathways (such as those in public parks), and recreational opportunities
To view more information that Mayor Bronin submitted to the Court of Common Council, click here.
MAYOR BRONIN LAUNCHES “DON’T BLOCK THE BOX” CAMPAIGN TO CRACK DOWN ON DRIVERS WHO BLOCK INTERSECTIONS
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 29, 2016) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin launched a “Don’t Block the Box” campaign to crack down on drivers who block intersections. The campaign includes enhanced awareness and enforcement of a law that prohibits drivers from entering an intersection when they will not be able to make it through before the light turns red.
“When drivers ‘block the box’ and jam up an intersection, they’re tying up a whole city and putting pedestrians at risk,” Mayor Bronin said. “This pilot program will help eliminate gridlock, keep traffic moving and make city streets safer for pedestrians. I applaud Council Chairman Clarke and Majority Leader Concepción, as well as the Hartford Police Department, for taking the lead to get this done.”
In 2009, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed – and then Gov. Jodi Rell signed into law – An Act Prohibiting Blocking the Box, allowing any municipality to adopt an ordinance prohibiting motor vehicles from stopping in a designated intersection and blocking the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians.
In 2016, Hartford’s City Council – working with Mayor Bronin and the Hartford Police Department – adopted an ordinance designating several intersections as “Don’t Block the Box” locations, subjecting violators to a $117 fine. Hartford Police will be monitoring intersections and ticketing drivers who violate the law, and the city will receive 50 percent of fees collected from offenders, excluding administrative costs.
"As always, our number one concern is safety, and that includes keeping our streets safe by maintaining the flow of traffic," said Council President TJ Clarke. "That's why the message we're sending today is simple: if you 'Block the Box,' you'll get a ticket. No matter what vehicle you're driving, you'll get ticketed, period."
“This campaign is aimed at educating commuters by increasing awareness of the dangers of blocking a busy intersection,” said City Council Majority Leader Julio Majority Leader Concepción. “By 'Blocking the Box,' not only are drivers increasing congestion, but they’re also causing a real safety concern for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. We hope this campaign serves as a small step in improving the City’s quality of life, all while keeping residents and visitors safe.”
To date, Hartford has marked the following intersections as “Don’t Block the Box” locations:
Four additional intersections are planned to become “Don’t Block the Box” locations before this winter begins, including:
“Hartford residents should feel safe while crossing the street,” added Mayor Bronin. “Stepping up enforcement of existing traffic laws will decrease congestion, improve air quality, and create better conditions for pedestrians across the city, most notably kids, seniors, and mobility impaired.”
STATEMENT: MAYOR BRONIN ON ARCH SELECTING A COMPLETION CONTRACTOR FOR THE DUNKIN’ DONUTS PARK
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 28, 2016) – Tonight, Arch Insurance announced that it has chosen Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. – which has extensive experience in building sports venues – to finish Dunkin’ Donuts Park, according to the Hartford Courant. In response, Mayor Luke Bronin made the following statement:
“We’re very pleased that Arch has selected a completion contractor with extensive construction experience, including the construction of sports facilities and stadiums. I appreciate the Arch’s commitment to moving this project forward quickly, and we look forward to working closely with Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., with the Yard Goats, and with the Eastern League in the months ahead.”
CITY OF HARTFORD RECOGNIZED AS A LEADER ON SOLAR ENERGY BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 27, 2016) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that the City of Hartford is being recognized as a national leader by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for solar energy growth and advancement. Connecticut’s capital city is one of only 14 municipalities nationwide to receive a Gold designation from the DOE’s SolSmart program.
“We are thrilled that Hartford is being recognized for our hard work and commitment to increasing solar access for the entire community,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are excited about the new opportunities for solar expansion this Gold designation may afford us.”
SolSmart, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, is a national recognition and a no-cost technical assistance program for local governments designed to drive greater solar deployment. The program makes it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access affordable and renewable solar energy to meet their electricity needs. As part of the SolSmart program, all participating communities are eligible to request no-cost technical assistance from a team of national solar experts to help them achieve the designation.
“This designation highlights Hartford’s commitment to clean energy,” said Bryan Garcia, CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank and a member of the City’s Climate Stewardship Council. “We at the Green Bank have been proud to work hand in hand with the City on a variety of solar initiatives, and investors in the solar field should continue to see Hartford as a promising investment opportunity.”
“Making a commitment to solar energy on a municipal level is a huge step for Hartford,” said Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “This SolSmart Gold designation will help the City to achieve critical climate goals and to keep up its tremendous momentum in the area of sustainability.”
Several steps have been taken by Mayor Bronin and others to promote clean energy production and development in Hartford. In January 2016, the city’s zoning code was overhauled to allow for solar energy in all zoning districts. In the spring, PosiGen and the Connecticut Green Bank announced that its “Solar for All” program, bringing solar to low-income and moderate-income property owners, would be coming to Hartford. And recently, Hartford’s Court of Common Council passed an ordinance – submitted and signed by Mayor Bronin – that established an Energy Improvement District (EID), helping the city to manage local energy projects. Also, a Climate Stewardship Council was launched to undertake long-range planning for sustainable energy initiatives, including solar.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical support program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. Learn more at SolSmart.org. The SolSmart designation team, led by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), evaluates communities and awards them points based on the actions they take to reduce soft costs and other barriers to solar. Communities that take sufficient action are designed either gold, silver, or bronze. The SolSmart technical assistance team is led by The Solar Foundation.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national collaborative effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.