A draft of the Complete Streets policy has been prepared, and the public is invited to provide input before it moves to the next phase.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford is in the final stages of developing a Complete Streets policy, with principles that will be applied to all future town-sponsored improvements as well as privately-funded projects that impact rights-of-way in town, and the public is invited to comment on the draft plan.
In his report to the Town Council last week, Town Manager Ron Van Winkle said that the “Complete Streets policy will emphasize making rights-of-way accessible to all parties.”
Those rights-of-way, according to the draft document, include any “area, public or private, dedicated for use by pedestrians and vehicles. Right-of-way includes thoroughfares such as streets, highways, bike paths and walkways and normally incorporates curbs, lawn strips, street trees, sidewalks, lighting, signage, drainage facilities, street furniture and other similar features.”
Once the policy is adopted, Van Winkle said, “When we are going to make changes, we will look at all those users” to ensure that the project meets their needs as best as possible.
According to the draft policy, the Complete Streets principles will be considered in the earliest phases of any project to which they apply. The draft has been developed based on research of best practices from the American Planning Association as well as from studying peer communities.
The Town of West Hartford’s website defines the goal of the project as: “Complete Streets are rights-of-ways (roads, sidewalks, etc.) that are planned designed, constructed, operated and maintained in such a way as to enable safe, comfortable and convenient access by users of all ages and abilities, including but not limited to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and drivers. The Town actively promotes safe streets through design, education and enforcement of all of its rights-of-ways and the Complete Streets Policy will be a tool used to ensure that road construction and reconstruction projects are planned, funded, designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the Complete Streets principles.”
Residents are invited to submit comments, and those comments much be sent by Friday, Feb. 20, to Town Planner Todd Dumais, by email at [email protected], fax at 860-561-7400, by mail or in person.
The final draft of the Complete Street policy will be submitted to the Town Council this March.
Click here to view the draft document.
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