Connecticut was selected to participate in Smart Growth America’s Complete Streets Academy with the cities of Bristol, Middletown, and Waterbury.
The NVCOG and its partner communities, Waterbury and Bristol, participated in the 2023 Complete Streets Academy, enabling implementation of impactful traffic calming projects in the jurisdictions. The Complete Streets Leadership Academies are a National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America initiative training public employees and officials in Complete Street best practices, intergovernmental and regional coordination, and “quick-build” temporary infrastructure projects on state roads.
Each city installed a temporary project to collect data and feedback about complete streets installations on key state owned routes near their respective Downtowns. This data will be used to inform future designs and improvements to these and similar streets to enhance safety, comfort, and pedestrian/bicycle access.
Bristol implemented temporary pedestrian safety improvements on West Street, including narrowing the roadway and adding visual elements and improved crosswalks near the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol. The NVCOG staff joined Mayor Jeff Caggiano of Bristol and the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School office to engage Bristol youth and promote pedestrian safety.
Waterbury’s project made Grand Street a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly location leveraging low-cost materials like tape, cones, and tubular markers to daylight crosswalks and shorten their crossing distance. The project was in place through late September. Data showed an 11% reduction in traffic speeds within the first two weeks, a crucial step towards enhancing community safety as lowering speeds at the 85th percentile can significantly reduce traffic-related accidents.