Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sen. Harp sponsors bill to improve safety and traffic circulation in New Haven's Westville (release)

State Senator Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven) offered testimony today on behalf of legislation she co-sponsored, meant to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow in and through New Haven's Westville section. The bill, should it be enacted, would provide state funds to underwrite neighborhood upgrades like improved street lighting, enhanced crosswalks, and curb 'bump-outs' to better regulate the speed of cars and trucks.
HB5040, An Act Authorizing Bonds of the State for Traffic Calming and Economic Development in Westville Village, is currently under consideration by the legislature's Commerce Committee.
"The Westville section of New Haven boasts a thriving business district quite removed from well-known downtown landmarks like Yale's main campus and the New Haven Green… at the hub of urban streets and arteries," Senator Harp said. "The trouble with an inviting retail district in this ideal – if busy – location is the way it attracts speeding cars and trucks. In fact, in a 2009 analysis of what's necessary for Westville revitalization, the first thing listed under 'Special Challenges' is 'high traffic speeds;' the second is 'pedestrian safety.'"
Senator Harp's legislation, also co-sponsored by state Representatives Toni Walker (D-New Haven) and Pat Dillon (D-New Haven), calls for state bonding of up to $415,000 for these comprehensive improvements.
"Your favorable consideration of HB5040 will help us underscore what many of us have known for years already, namely, that in our Westville Village we have a jewel in our midst in terms of a vibrant community with person-to-person appeal," Senator Harp testified. "The public safety and security features in this bill are absolutely necessary, and will help perpetuate Westville's reputation as a desirable New Haven address for businesses and residents alike."


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