Hartford Rolls Out Additional City Posts To Enforce Safer Driving

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Inside the capital city, there is a traffic calming project to encourage drivers to slow down and stop aggressive driving in different neighborhoods.

Hartford's latest traffic project is being rolled out in different phases to ensure drivers are using caution while driving through intersections.

Several white city posts are popping up around the city. The purpose is to serve as a barrier for pedestrians and those on bikes.

Wethersfield Avenue is one of the streets inside the city of Hartford where city posts are in place to protect pedestrians and bikers.

Valerie Dixon has lived on Wethersfield Avenue for the last five years and has seen the difference the posts have made in her neighborhood.

"I think it's helpful, it slows traffic down and allows people to not be in a hurry," said Dixon. "I noticed the accidents that were going on and it was quite a bit of them and now I understand why they installed the white poles."

Aaron Gill lives inside the Frog Hollow neighborhood, the latest location to see the installation of the white posts. Gill along with his neighbors have worked with the city's Department of Public Works to help pinpoint the best place to set up the posts.

"These are all tools that we know work, so we worked together to figure out the right tools for the right situations and we started to implement them," said Gill. "We would much rather have a planter or post that’s easily replaceable get hit by a vehicle than any of my neighbors.”

Gill also mentioned that he's focused on protecting walkers and bikers and wants to reduce the number of crashes around his neighborhoods and the city.

"A lot of it is just changing people’s perceptions and helping them understand that our roads are for all of us, not just those sitting in a vehicle," said Gill.

"We want to create livable areas where people feel comfortable and not worried near their home and we know these methods work because they are used in different cities, states, countries and their also global tools," Gill continued.

Along Capitol Avenue in Hartford, there are multiple city posts near the intersections of Capitol Avenue and Lawrence Street and Capitol Avenue and Babcock Street.

The city believes these tactics help to cut down on pedestrian fatalities, aggressive driving and speeding.

"We want to use traffic delineators and planters to help create a visual and a physical barrier that would hopefully reduce speed and make drivers a little bit aware of their surroundings," said Michael Looney, D.P.W. Director for the city of Hartford.

"These measures aren’t that expensive- the cost of a planter pales in comparison to the cost of a life lost," Looney said.

One other goal is to encourage people to walk to and support local businesses like Headquarters Barbershop on Capitol Avenue.

"I think it's a great way to keep people safe and allows both drivers and walkers to slow down and see what's around them and see what businesses are in the neighborhood to support," said Gil Melendez, a barber at Headquarters Barbershop.

The city told NBC Connecticut they have a list of busy intersections that they are studying and looking at to install similar traffic reducing treatments.

The posts cost the city anywhere between $27-$50 and only take a few hours to install depending on the project.

"We find that if it's not the solution that works best, we can also quickly remove it. It does have a certain lack of permeance that if we need to make changes or adjustments, we can do that pretty quickly as well," said Looney.

"It's a more flexible tool than spending years of designing something and then having to construct and implement it and then finding out later maybe we should've adjusted it in this way in design and that's a much bigger effort and much more expensive effort," Looney concluded.

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