Multimodal Planning in the I-84 Danbury Corridor

The Ct. DOT I-84 Danbury Project Team is crafting a Purpose Statement for the I-84 Danbury Project. This Purpose Statement is important because it defines what problems the Project seeks to address, and what the Project wants to achieve. The Purpose Statement also provides the framework to develop and evaluate a wide range of concepts. At the third Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting in September, committee members were asked a series of questions about needs for the I-84 corridor in greater Danbury. The exercise provided the Project team with local insights and input towards the Project’s Purpose.

---The purpose of the I-84 Danbury Project is to reduce congestion and improve the mobility of people and goods in

the I-84 corridor in greater Danbury---

Questions for the team included whether PAC members change their travel patterns or behavior to avoid congestion on I-84, with most answering that they did. PAC members were also asked if they felt that congestion has gotten worse over the last five years, and whether congestion on I-84 was hurting the local economy. The consensus for both questions was yes! PAC members also agreed that improved access to commuter rail, bus transit, and Park & Ride areas would be beneficial. Reducing congestion and crashes, and improving safety overall, were identified as important to the Project’s purpose. PAC members also chimed in on bike and pedestrian amenities, connectivity within the city, and rest areas and pull-offs for trucks on I-84. I-84 through Danbury is important because it is a major commuter and freight route near large employers in one of the fastest growing regions of the state, so addressing issues of congestion and mobility are crucial. 

Based on the PAC’s input, an in-depth review of the Project’s Needs and Deficiencies Study, and review of comments provided by the public and stakeholders on-line and at numerous outreach events, the project team prepared and discussed the following draft purpose statement with the PAC: The purpose of the I-84 Danbury Project is to reduce congestion and improve the mobility of people and goods in the I-84 corridor in greater Danbury. In the coming months, the Poject team will begin developing concepts that could meet the purpose of the Project. They will bring their first concept to the PAC in the Spring 2020 for review and discussion. This meeting will be a workshop where the PAC can provide feedback to the Project team. A variety of additional ideas and concepts, on the highway and local road connections, are likely to be developed as a result of feedback from this PAC workshop. These ideas and concepts will be made available to the public on the Project website at http://www.i84danbury.com/. Help shape the future of Danbury by checking these out and providing your thoughts too!

Multimodal Planning - A Primer Multimodal planning considers many types of transportation including cars, buses, trains, bicycles, and pedestrians, as well as the connections between those various travel modes. People have different needs and preferences when it comes to how they move about and travel. A transportation system is more successful when travelers and commuters can use different modes to reach their destinations. There are many ways to implement multimodal planning. Multimodal planning can include creating bike lanes on a road so that cyclists can travel next to automobiles. It can include building accessible sidewalk ramps and crossing signals so that users with disabilities can travel more easily in an area. It can improve access to and frequency of transit service. Simply put, multimodal planning considers much more than just Multimodal Planning in the I-84 Danbury Corridor 2 Winter 2020 Newsletter Multimodal planning near a highway ramp can involve creating continuous sidewalks, safer crossings, and better lighting to improve travel for all users in the corridor.

The benefits of multimodal planning are substantial. Improving these more sustainable forms of travel can encourage their use, ease congestion on the highway itself, reduce environmental impacts, and improve overall quality of life. Incorporating Multimodal Planning into the I-84 Danbury Project While the focus of the I-84 Danbury Project is largely on the highway itself, the Project will also consider other elements such as potential impacts to transit stops /service and ramp connections to local streets. Several stakeholders have already asked the Project team to consider pedestrian safety improvements at the highway’s many underpasses.

To address these concerns, the Project team will consider lighting, ADA-compliant ramps, and improved crosswalks and signals where appropriate. To share your thoughts on the planning process, please visit the Project website at www.i84danbury.com and leave a comment for the project team.