Opinion: Invest to connect for economic opportunity

Lyle Wray
Lyle Wray

Lyle Wray is the executive director of Capitol Region Council of Governments.

Some 15 years ago urbanist Michael Gallis penned a report that warned Western New England that it was in danger of becoming a “cul de sac” with limited transportation access and a dimmed economic future. In the years since, we have remained reliant on cars – currently 81 percent of metro Hartford commutes alone – while other competing metro areas have begun to aggressively build out transportation options.

Along with the too frequent warnings of outdated infrastructure coming from more than 100 year old rail bridges failing and 50 year highway bridges reaching the end of their useful lives, there have been some positive steps to get us out of the “cul de sac”. But if we wish to remain an economically competitive region, we must continue to aggressively invest in non-highway transportation alternatives.

The first rapid transit line in the state, CTfastrak, comes online the first quarter of 2015, linking employment centers and residential areas in Hartford, West Hartford, Newington and New Britain and the adjacent towns. More than 83,000 jobs are within a half mile of CTfastrak and 159,000 within a two mile corridor (CT Department of Labor and Other Commercial Data Providers).

In the last quarter of 2016, 17 trains a day will travel from Hartford to New Haven at commuter rail prices with easy connections to New York City. Rail service begins to have real meaning with trains frequent enough to go to and from business meetings on the Hartford-New Haven-New York corridor.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


4 responses to “Opinion: Invest to connect for economic opportunity”

  1. anon

    @Chapmen, Mr Wray represents Hartford and environs, that is not clear from your posting and should be. Transportation problems on I95, MetroNorth and Merrit Prkwy in Fairfield county, Connecticut’s ‘pocketbook’, are not mentioned, only Hartford boondoggles.

    1. Mark Chapman


      The CT News Junkie opinion piece that we tease here clearly lays out Mr. Wray’s credentials. To the best of my knowledge, Norwalk taxpayers contribute to transportation projects beyond Fairfield County.

  2. anon

    @Chapman, point was this headline and story lacks much relevance for Fairfield county except that our dollars go to Hartford to pay for it while Faifield County’s old transportation infrastructure down here collapses. It’s your paper to choose what to post, but this readers thinks this headline is an advertisement, not news.

  3. piberman

    Here’s a choice story for NON. Any City officials sympathetic to the discrimination claims by the 3 dissident BOE members ? Any citizens groups other than the NAACP supporting the charges ? Or just a “media event” to gain attention ?

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