Public Input Invited at West Hartford Road Diet Trial Informational Meeting

The North Main Street road diet, which changes the configuration to one lane in each direction with a left turn lane in the center, will become permanent. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The Town of West Hartford and the project design consultant will host a public information meeting on April 28 to discuss the results of the North Main Street Road Diet Trial.

By Ronni Newton

The results of the North Main Street Road Diet Trial will be presented at a public meeting conducted by the Town of West Hartford and the project consultant, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), on April 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the Town Hall auditorium.

A stretch of North Main Street between Loomis Drive and Bishops Corner was restriped in August 2021, and the road diet trial has been underway since then to determine the success or failure of the concept.

VHB was been engaged by the town to assist with the project to monitor traffic and collect data – analyzing the impact on traffic other north-south routes and other roadways in town, crash frequency and severity, pedestrian and bicycle usage and safety, and traffic speed and queues.

In November, the town solicited public feedback regarding all aspects of the trial through a survey, to which 1,914 people responded. Two-thirds of those respondents supported making the change in the traffic flow permanent, and roughly 60% think the roadway feels safer and is more functional.

The April 28 public informational meeting is intended to invite further public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have about the trial. The complete results of the Road Diet Trial Evaluation will be presented.

Options may include keeping the road diet as is, maintaining a road diet but implementing additional changes which may include altering other impacted intersections, or returning to the former roadway configuration.

Questions and comments from those who are in attendance at the April 28 presentation will be addressed at that meeting. A sign language interpreter will be at the presentation.

The public can also contact the project consultant VHB before or after the meeting with questions or comments at 860-807-4405 or by emailing the project website at [email protected].

Anyone unable to attend on April 28 will be able to view a live-stream of the presentation, and it will also be available on YouTube after the event.

VHB’s recommendations will be presented to the Town Council, and the final decision about the road diet will be made by the town manager who serves as the town’s Legal Traffic Authority.

Following the end of the trial, and while the recommendations are being considered, the current configuration will remain in place to avoid additional confusion to the public, Town Engineer Greg Sommer previously told We-Ha.com.

Additional information about the road diet trial is available on the project webpage.

Any individual with a disability who needs special assistance to participate in a meeting should contact Suzanne Oslander, Department of Social Services, 860-561-7580, [email protected], seven days prior to the meeting.

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