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Started by Mergingtraffic, October 28, 2009, 08:39:49 PM

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The Ghostbuster

My question is: will the preferred alternative ever be constructed? Connecticut is known for kicking the can way down the road on road projects statewide.


roadman65

Quote from: vdeane on May 23, 2024, 12:46:56 PM
Quote from: RobbieL2415 on May 23, 2024, 08:01:06 AMHonestly, its a difficult spot to build any freeway-to-freeway connector because you have

-Overhead high voltage transmission lines
-Metro North
-Exit 40

all in the way.
Although it wouldn't be hard to preserve the existing ramps as freeway-freeway (at least to/from the south) while still providing the bulk of the movements.  If I were deciding what to do here, I'd get rid of the west half of the exit 40 cloverleaf and turn the east half into a folded diamond.  Then, for US 7, I'd build two new ramps - one from US 7 north to Main Ave to end at the same junction as exit 40 (preventing weaving, albeit by making people continuing to CT 15 north wait at a light) and another from CT 15 south to US 7 (this would have a light, but all existing movements to/from the south would be unaffected by it; only the new movement and traffic to/from the north would need to deal with the light).

Traffic from US 7 south to CT 15 north would still need to use Main Ave, but that traffic is all local anyways, so who cares?  Traffic from significantly further north of there is taking CT 33 anyways.

A split Diamond between both roads could work, building frontage roads on both sides from Main Avenue to US 7. The fact that US 7 will never tie into the Danbury bypass will never happen, despite all the sprawl and traffic generated through Wilton and the rest of the route between CT 15 and I-84 warrants some kind of a bypass.  However Connecticut is set in their ways and don't mind being a state with a suburban character with some semi rural areas.  So no more new freeways in the state.
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

vdeane

Quote from: roadman65 on May 29, 2024, 05:45:16 PMA split Diamond between both roads could work, building frontage roads on both sides from Main Avenue to US 7. The fact that US 7 will never tie into the Danbury bypass will never happen, despite all the sprawl and traffic generated through Wilton and the rest of the route between CT 15 and I-84 warrants some kind of a bypass.  However Connecticut is set in their ways and don't mind being a state with a suburban character with some semi rural areas.  So no more new freeways in the state.
So "we won't finish the freeway" means "we must rip out the freeway"?  That's the logic I'm not getting here.  It's not like the whole thing is some useless stub either, it's an integral connection between I-95 and CT 15.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

bmitchelf

Quote from: vdeane on May 29, 2024, 12:50:52 PM
Quote from: Duke87 on May 29, 2024, 12:12:26 AM
Quote from: vdeane on May 22, 2024, 12:24:55 PMWhat about a partial freeway-freeway interchange, similar to what Michigan did at US 31 and I-94?  That would retain freeway/freeway connectivity to/from the south while still reassuring the NIMBYs to the north that any plans to extend the US 7 freeway are dead.

This has never been considered because the purpose and need of the project every time it has come up has always been "add all the missing movements". So any option that does not do that has never been on the table.

At any rate, I'd see little point in that. You're just swapping around which movements are missing. You'd also still have the problem of "brings ramps closer to wealthy homeowner's backyard" in the NW quadrant.


Doesn't that interchange provide full movement, though?  And wouldn't the wealthy homeowner be less powerful on their own, without any aid from the NIMBYs to the north who are afraid that anything more than a freeway removal means that ConnDOT will try to complete Super 7?

Incidentally, my later proposal provides all movements but one (though not all as freeway-freeway), and the one that's missing is one that I can't see being used by many people ever, especially not with the US 7's current configuration (in fact, with the current configuration, I would say the US 7 SB to CT 15 NB is completely useless and unnecessary; the only use case I could see is if some roadgeek is clinching things and has a bug up their rear about staying on state routes).

For that matter, they don't need 15 SB to 7 NB either.

Ted$8roadFan

#5929
Had a lovely drive through central and southern Connecticut yesterday. I was happy to see work being g done on various local roads and highways. Of course, much more needs to be done, especially on I-95/Connecticut Turnpike. Much has already been discussed here, including the old and faded signs (Hammonasset and Rocky Neck State Parks deserve so much better) and the need for widening. Unless I'm missing something, I also noted the lack of merge signs at several on ramps. Without them, there is no way for the uninitiated driver to know that they would have to very soon either hit the brakes or squeeze over to the left lane to accommodate vehicles entering the highway with not enough room to merge. Are those signs part of any planned replacement?


shadyjay

The state park signs (Rocky Neck and Hammonasett) were installed in 2000 when signs from Exits 60-82A were replaced.  The signs from Exits 63-84 are set to be replaced in a project going out to bid this summer.  What will be interesting to see is whether or not the state park signs will remain state park exclusive.  Sherwood Island signs further down I-95 were replaced with signs saying "Sherwood Island Connector", relegating the state park to auxilary brown signs. 

I'm still not a fan of the removal of the merging traffic signs.  I doubt they'll be replaced, as recent sheet aluminum replacement projects have actually removed the merging traffic signs.  I'm not sure if its a requirement in the MUTCD to post them, but something should be posted.  If there's snow on the road, it'll be even harder to determine where the merge point is.  Really should shoot an e-mail over to ConnDOT about it!

RobbieL2415

Quote from: shadyjay on June 02, 2024, 06:44:30 PMI'm still not a fan of the removal of the merging traffic signs.  I doubt they'll be replaced, as recent sheet aluminum replacement projects have actually removed the merging traffic signs.  I'm not sure if its a requirement in the MUTCD to post them, but something should be posted.  If there's snow on the road, it'll be even harder to determine where the merge point is.  Really should shoot an e-mail over to ConnDOT about it!
Which is weird, because a sheet aluminum replacement project on I-84 two years ago did involve new merge signs.

My take is that they're only replacing one's where there's poor visibility of the merge area, because too many drivers keep crashing into them.

If they used extruded aluminum, or at the very least sheet aluminum on I-beam supports, that would be less of an issue.

Ted$8roadFan

Once again, we're in the midst of the wash-rinse-repeat cycle, the City of Middletown is now objecting to the patent ConnDOT plans for improvements to and to remove the signals on CT-9.


https://ctexaminer.com/2024/05/31/middletown-council-demands-halt-to-route-9-changes-until-resident-concerns-are-addressed/

The Ghostbuster

The article is paywalled. Is there another way to read the article without needing a subscription?

MikeTheActuary

Another, non-paywalled (or at least I was able to see all of it) article on Middletown's objections: https://www.middletownpress.com/news/article/middletown-leaders-ask-dot-suspend-plans-route-9-19488446.php

SectorZ

QuoteYuri Branzburg talked about equity. "Citizens on a $50 bicycle ought to have the right to as much of the road as a citizen in a $50,000 car," he said. "This most basic principle of social justice should underpin the entire project.

I really wish these people would stop speaking for cyclists. I wasn't aware the likes of me wanted to ride my bike on 9.

shadyjay

Noone in their right mind would want to ride their bike on Route 9... period! 

Now, for someone who now utilizes deKoven Drive to bypass traffic on Route 9 North in the PM rush, I really don't see how the current ConnDOT proposal would help traffic.  deKoven is already backed up, especially approaching Main St, as I often have to sit through 3 or 4 cycles of the light to get through.  Now you're going to make deKoven be the only way to get to Portland from Route 9 North?  No! 

Middletown businesses crying about losing their premier access... they have been spoiled all these years that the "freeway" north and south of town turns into a "boulevard" for a mile with front door access to Main Street and its shops/restaurants/etc.  Other cities where highways have come through have not been so lucky.  Even after said improvements, Middletown will still thrive, and may thrive even more now that you won't have to sit in so much traffic to get in and out. 

Again, there are a couple different hands to play here that I'm surprised Middletown and the state haven't come up with... a SPUI at Route 17 South and access to/from the Arrigoni/North End via the north side of the Arrigoni... not via Hartford Ave.  Granted, ConnDOT is looking at the cheap out solution.  A SPUI at Route 17 South (former Exit 13) would have given Middletown a nice "south end" gateway from both directions of Route 9, and access to the harbor.  Route 17 South could be a landscaped boulevard, with an at grade intersection at Main St Extension, instead of being a freeway vestige that was meant for something more.  And up at the Arrigoni, the north end ramps would go through a mostly industrial or vacant area.  Heading west across the bridge, instead of that hard left curve to dump you out on Main St and then fight your way left to get to Route 9, a gradual curve to the right leading to a direct Route 9 interchange. 

Honestly, now that its been like this for 50+ years, they should fix it once and do it right! 

MikeTheActuary

Quote from: SectorZ on June 06, 2024, 01:59:23 PMI wasn't aware the likes of me wanted to ride my bike on 9.

I thought it was 50/50 whether the remark was made in the context of increased traffic downtown (and that context lost when quoted in the article), or if it was a general expression of pro-bike/anti-car sentiment, relevant only in the sense that fixing Route 9 is a "pro car" thing.

The Ghostbuster

The signals will probably never be removed from CT 9 in Middletown, due to a lack of consensus for previously explored alternatives. If CT 9 in Middletown ever does get its signals removed, and the conversion to freeway standards is constructed, I would be very shocked.

MikeTheActuary

Quote from: The Ghostbuster on June 06, 2024, 07:42:51 PMdue to a lack of consensus for previously explored alternatives.

That's the downside of life in the Land of Steady Habits.

RobbieL2415

#5940
I guess the ultimate question to pose to the Council and to "concerned citizens", is: What would you like to do?

You agree that the stoplights are an issue but you don't think it will solve traffic problems on local streets and you don't want high speed traffic on a road designed for high speed.

This is so frustrating.

What would you like ConnDOT to do?

MikeTheActuary

Quote from: RobbieL2415 on June 07, 2024, 11:27:55 AMI guess the ultimate question to pose to the Council and to "concerned citizens", is: What would you like to do?

You agree that the stoplights are an issue but you don't think it will solve traffic problems on local streets and you don't want high speed traffic on a road designed for high speed.

I believe a portion of the concerned citizens would like to see Route 9 downgraded into something that isn't a longer-distance high-speed facility, regional public transport improved to European levels, and improved infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians... all preferably paid for by someone else.

shadyjay

#5942
Quote from: MikeTheActuary on June 07, 2024, 06:00:48 PMI believe a portion of the concerned citizens would like to see Route 9 downgraded into something that isn't a longer-distance high-speed facility,

They want to do that?  Fine.  Take Route 9 and send it to Portland.  Heading south, head straight where Route 9 presently curves right.  Have an interchange with Route 66/17 in Portland.  Come back across the river and tie into existing Route 9 somewhere near Bow Lane/CVH.  Existing Route 9 would be maintained in the south up to the present Route 17 South interchange and in the north down to present Hartford Ave.  The middle section can be converted to (something).  Perhaps north of Hartford Ave could be converted to more of a 4-lane boulevard with a bike path so that there's that access to Cromwell and points north. 

Lots of win-wins in this situation
*  Arrigoni Bridge traffic decreases significantly
*  St John Square gets pressure taken off of it
*  Middletown gets a mile long riverfront park
*  Thru traffic gets a 70 MPH design speed
*  A bike/pedestrian connection between Middletown and Cromwell will be possible
*  Space for a future Middletown RR station is available

Some negatives
*  Some land taking in Portland, though route could be tweaked to go through undeveloped land
*  Two bridges over the CT River required
*  Middletown cries foul because they're no longer on the "mainline"

In the attached map...
RED indicates the new route of Route 9... roughly.  Route can be modified to take advantage of undeveloped land in Portland.
ORANGE indicates reconstructed routes to provide new access to/from Middletown to/from the north and south. 
YELLOW indicates portions of existing highways that can be removed with Rt 9 relocation.

Untitled by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

Ted$8roadFan

Quote from: shadyjay on June 07, 2024, 07:42:04 PM
Quote from: MikeTheActuary on June 07, 2024, 06:00:48 PMI believe a portion of the concerned citizens would like to see Route 9 downgraded into something that isn't a longer-distance high-speed facility,

They want to do that?  Fine.  Take Route 9 and send it to Portland.  Heading south, head straight where Route 9 presently curves right.  Have an interchange with Route 66/17 in Portland.  Come back across the river and tie into existing Route 9 somewhere near Bow Lane/CVH.  Existing Route 9 would be maintained in the south up to the present Route 17 South interchange and in the north down to present Hartford Ave.  The middle section can be converted to (something).  Perhaps north of Hartford Ave could be converted to more of a 4-lane boulevard with a bike path so that there's that access to Cromwell and points north. 

Lots of win-wins in this situation
*  Arrigoni Bridge traffic decreases significantly
*  St John Square gets pressure taken off of it
*  Middletown gets a mile long riverfront park
*  Thru traffic gets a 70 MPH design speed
*  A bike/pedestrian connection between Middletown and Cromwell will be possible
*  Space for a future Middletown RR station is available

Some negatives
*  Some land taking in Portland, though route could be tweaked to go through undeveloped land
*  Two bridges over the CT River required
*  Middletown cries foul because they're no longer on the "mainline"

In the attached map...
RED indicates the new route of Route 9... roughly.  Route can be modified to take advantage of undeveloped land in Portland.
ORANGE indicates reconstructed routes to provide new access to/from Middletown to/from the north and south. 
YELLOW indicates portions of existing highways that can be removed with Rt 9 relocation.

Untitled by Jay Hogan, on Flickr

Not going to happen .  Much of that undeveloped land is protected farmland, which would be quite difficult to obtain, even beyond the inevitable community opposition.

shadyjay

Quote from: Ted$8roadFan on June 07, 2024, 07:59:25 PMNot going to happen .  Much of that undeveloped land is protected farmland, which would be quite difficult to obtain, even beyond the inevitable community opposition.

Oh, I don't doubt it in the least.  Just an idea I had that would solve some issues... not any sort of proposal.

Funny how so many American cities are looking for ways to undue the past by studying to relocate their highways away from their waterfront (Hartford, Springfield, other cities nationwide), while Middletown wants theirs right where it is, stuck in the 1950s.


kurumi

Another fictional idea: remove the intersections at Washington St and St. John's Square. There would be two ways into town:
* SPUI at the 9/17 interchange, and CT 17 downgraded to 4-lane boulevard. Not a new idea.
* extended North Main St connects to CT 9 north of the Arrigoni Bridge. This can be new ramps near the Mattabesset River, orrrr even extend it as a parallel to CT 9 (and the railroad tracks) up to the CT 99 interchange. Make that a complete interchange.

Then cap the Acheson Drive segment of CT 9 as needed; it remains a freeway, but there is access to the river. The accesses at north and south almost form a "Business Route 9" using Main Street, and businesses flourish, and almost everyone is happy.

People getting to/from 9 and the Arrigoni Bridge are not yet happy; to solve that, do a new bridge downstream, as in Jay's map.
My first SF/horror short story collection is available: "Young Man, Open Your Winter Eye"

MikeTheActuary

Quote from: shadyjay on June 07, 2024, 08:59:34 PMMiddletown wants theirs right where it is, stuck in the 1950s.

Actually, I think the analysis paralysis we're seeing is conflict among:
  • Folks who would like to see longer-distance traffic move to Route 2 and I-91, and have Route 9 downgraded to an arterial similar to Route 3 or Route 66, garnished with improved public transport
  • Businesses who want people to come downtown, but for there to not be so much traffic that would interfere with parking or the interest of people to come downtown
  • Folks who want to see the Route 9 "fixed" as an otherwise controlled-access highway
  • Folks who know how expensive any change would be, and how difficult it'll be to come up with those funds

RobbieL2415

Quote from: MikeTheActuary on June 07, 2024, 06:00:48 PM
Quote from: RobbieL2415 on June 07, 2024, 11:27:55 AMI guess the ultimate question to pose to the Council and to "concerned citizens", is: What would you like to do?

You agree that the stoplights are an issue but you don't think it will solve traffic problems on local streets and you don't want high speed traffic on a road designed for high speed.

I believe a portion of the concerned citizens would like to see Route 9 downgraded into something that isn't a longer-distance high-speed facility, regional public transport improved to European levels, and improved infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians... all preferably paid for by someone else.
Ok, then completely integrate CT 9 into the street grid and add bike lanes, and remove deKoven Dr.
Quote from: MikeTheActuary on June 07, 2024, 06:00:48 PM
Quote from: RobbieL2415 on June 07, 2024, 11:27:55 AMI guess the ultimate question to pose to the Council and to "concerned citizens", is: What would you like to do?

You agree that the stoplights are an issue but you don't think it will solve traffic problems on local streets and you don't want high speed traffic on a road designed for high speed.

I believe a portion of the concerned citizens would like to see Route 9 downgraded into something that isn't a longer-distance high-speed facility, regional public transport improved to European levels, and improved infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians... all preferably paid for by someone else.


bluecountry

Hypothetically, if CT/NY were to upgrade 95 from the 287 junction to I-91, copying what they did to 95 in Bridgeport/Fairefield, would that really improve congestion?

shadyjay

Between Fairfield and Bridgeport?  Only real work they did there back in the early 00s was the rehabilitation of the viaducts and adding an extra lane as a result.  Honestly, adding another lane down to I-287 isn't going to solve the problem, for any long duration.  I'd like to see 2 peak-directional express lanes, separated from the main roadway by barriers.  Such as, I-95 South would get the 2 additional lanes during the AM rush, I-95 North gets them in the PM rush.  Have minimum entry/exit points, like maybe every 10 miles, that would just be slip ramps to/from the main lanes.  Also, toll the express lanes.  As far as normal widening goes, from Stamford to I-287 would be possible. 

But in lower Fairfield County, real estate is very expensive and the I-95 right of way is fairly narrow and built up all around.  There's lot of exits and overpasses and such.  So there's really no easy solution...

... except to give people incentives to get out of their cars and onto the rails.  I know tolling is a very sensitive and hot topic issue to a lot of CT residents.  But perhaps a $5 toll at the border would help.  Getting more trucks off the road and improving freight service in the I-95 corridor is also a difficult task, since the NEC basically went "all passenger" starting back in the 1970s, with CT freight coming in/out via Springfield MA.  Getting through NYC is the biggest problem for freight trains.

No easy solution any way you slice it!



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