The news story by Bristol Press reporter Lorenzo Burgio began this way: “The Connecticut Department of Transportation is currently working on widening Route 6 to make safety and traffic improvements and ultimately (to make it) safer for travel. … The plan proposed the addition of an eastbound lane … in order to reduce congestion, delays, gridlock and safety concerns.”
No one who regularly drives through this area would dispute the fact that this infrastructure upgrade is necessary, even welcome, any more than anyone would challenge the work being done on Route 372, the busy road linking Plainville and New Britain.
Both necessary. Both likely to be praised when they are - finally! - completed. After all, a recent study found that traffic and the overall appearance of the Route 6 site was of concern to 267 respondents, including 35 percent who live and work in the area.
But, in each of the projects cited, those who drive through the area on a daily basis are wondering: will we live through it? The Route 6 project is slated for completion in November - 2018! The Route 372 project is nearing an end but has left an indelible impression on those who endured one-lane passage for months And let’s not forget the businesses that suffered during the interim.
Certainly, we support infrastructure upgrades, especially those aimed at making our roads and bridges safer. But if the work is to go on for months, as is the case in these two examples, we would also ask that the planners consider the effect on local businesses, commuters and the people who live nearby. And (we reluctantly add) let us as drivers exercise patience, knowing that in the end we’ll have a safer commute.