Urban proudly placed one of the first bricks for New Britain, CT Streetscape Master Plan’s Phase I Construction and greeted workers as they began the transformation of the City’s downtown area into a safer and more pedestrian-friendly location, one that better reflects its rich history.
The Master Plan was created through a multidisciplinary effort by Urban’s planners, civil engineers, and traffic engineers, who collaborated with landscape architects Richter & Cegan, Inc., wayfinding/project signage experts Rumney Associates, and historic specialists AKRF. The team’s design will be implemented during Phase II of construction.
Capitalizing on CTfastrak, the New Britain-Hartford Busway, New Britain recognized an opportunity to capitalize on its downtown, which already has many of the key ingredients needed to support this major transit investment, including a compact and highly walkable area and a mix of uses. What was needed was a more pedestrian-friendly environment. Taking a “Complete Streets” approach, Urban evaluated and eliminated unnecessary travel lanes, allowing relocation of found space for improved pedestrian space, bicyclists, public art and back-in angled parking. Developing a clear “wayfinding” program is critical to improve pedestrian and vehicular travel and promote the City’s historic and cultural assets. The project team worked closely with the City and community stakeholders to reach a collective vision.
“The plan will create a consistent and distinct look throughout the downtown, reconnect both sides of downtown that were separated by Route 72, and create places that will draw people downtown.” said Urban’s Planning Practice Leader Erika Rush, AICP. “The project’s Working Group and the public played a key role in shaping the plan. We are thrilled to see the hard work and efforts of the entire project team become a reality.”
Project funding came from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities Program and the National Park Service.