The Transportation Improvement Program is the most important way that local elected officials set the direction of federal transportation spending. The next TIP, which covers federal fiscal years 2025-2028 will begin on October 1st, 2024, and is currently available for the public to review and comment before the MPO boards act to endorse them.
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.
Through a series of state and federal funding sources, the CT Department of Transportation is undertaking a project to upgrade all six Waterbury Line train stations. These upgrades will not only provide a safer and more comfortable experience for passengers but allow the stations to serve as key places within their communities, a source of civic pride and a gathering place for residents and visitors.
Currently Waterbury has the only ADA accessible platform in the NVCOG region. However, this platform is too short for high-level boarding at all doors and lacks amenities and comforts that passengers need. Meanwhile, the adjacent Waterbury Union Station, a spectacular example of New Haven Railroad architecture, is unavailable to passengers, who often have to wait significant amounts of time between trains. Two projects will, together, make the Waterbury Station a better, more comfortable place for riders while also allowing for more frequent and longer trains.
The current platform in Waterbury is only long enough for trains with two cars, and even then only one car can open all of its doors. There are no ticket vending machines currently, and at arrivals and departures the small platform feels crowded. Using state funds added to the federal All Stations Accessibility Award, CTDOT will replace the current platform with one that meets all current standards, including being ADA accessible, 350 long to be able to accept 4 car trains, and equipped with all of the modern station amenities like ticket vending, real time arrival and departure information, and better space for waiting riders. In addition to the functional improvements, the new platform will match the Department’s new platform aesthetic, making for a more attractive station to match the significant improvements that have already been made to station area parking and pedestrian spaces.
The CTDOT is currently working on plans to convert the southern portion of the old station building into a facility for riders, returning passengers to the building to provide a comfortable waiting space, restrooms, and station amenities.
The interchange of Interstate 84 and Connecticut Route 8, located just west of Downtown Waterbury, has long been called “the Mixmaster” because of the complex web of highways, ramps, local roads, and rail, that make it up or pass below. Originally hailed as a marvel of modern highway design, the Mixmaster no longer meets highway design standards, is often crowded, and has left a significant mark on the City. The Mixmaster is currently undergoing work to extend its life for an estimated 25 years, after which a more permanent solution will be required.
While the Mixmaster undergoes efforts to extend its life and improve safety and traffic flow, the CTDOT, with the assistance of HNTB Corporation, have begun planning the long-term future for the interchange. The NVCOG, the City of Waterbury, and other interested parties regularly attend Project Advisory Committee meetings. The project team has also held several public information session, the most recent of which was on September 15th, 2022. Recordings and presentation material from all of these meetings, as well as other information about the project, can be found on the CTDOT’s project website, linked here:
This website includes a spot where anyone can leave a comment or ask a question. The CTDOT’s NewMix project team is dedicated to ensuring this process actively engages the public, so all comments are encouraged. Comments or questions can be submitted here.
NVCOG Staff Contact
Assistant Direct, NVCOG
Your Input Matters! Take the New Mix Mobility Equity Survey
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has launched a survey to evaluate whether individuals in Waterbury believe walking, biking, rolling, and/or taking public transportation is safe, convenient, dependable, and accessible.
CTDOT will use the information gathered from this survey to target improvements.
Anyone who completes the survey will receive a free two-hour CT Transit bus pass and be entered in a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card.
To take the survey now, go here: https://bit.ly/NewMixEquity
To learn more, visit: https://bit.ly/AboutMobilityEquity
Presentation to Local Leaders
On June 30, 2021, the NewMix Project Team presented the plan for the NewMix study to local elected officials. The content of this presentation is available below.