New Britain Wants Public Input on Fastrak Stations

The CT Fastrak buses go through downtown in New Britain and authorities want to make sure transit-oriented development doesn't pass by the city.

The bus terminal is close enough to add icing to the business at Dulces Cupcakes Cafe, Carmen Ellison, the owner, said.

"Especially on the weekends," she said. "We have a lot of people that do come in from other towns."

She and her year-old shop welcomed Gov. Dannel Malloy with four cupcakes.

Outside, city government officials showed him what they've done to the Central Park triangle.

On Bank Street, they gave him an idea of the roundabout they have in mind. If it makes commuting easier he's for it.

"I was mayor of Stamford for 14 years," he said. "We invested in transit-oriented development. We have thousands of people living in a neighborhood that was all manufacturing just a few years ago."

He said, across the country, once the government cleans up pollution on a site close to transportation, people want to live there.

New Britain's demolishing its old police station and the city's asking developers to propose projects.

What about apartments there?

"Oh my goodness," Mayor Erin Stewart said. "It would mean the world. I mean, we want more housing in our downtown area and as the governor said, more young people from my generation are not looking for the house with the white picket fence and the big backyard. They're looking for an apartment that they can walk across the street and go grocery shopping. They can hop on a bus and go to a restaurant in Hartford or West Hartford. They want that ease of access."

Tonight, she's hosting what she calls a visioning session to hear what the public wants at the city's three bus stations. It begins at 6 p.m. at the new police station.

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