AP NEWS

Boughton misses on urban transportation planning

October 23, 2017 GMT

I like Mayor Boughton and I think he loves Danbury. But I am not confident he is the right person to implement a modern urban transportation model.

The mayor’s biggest miss is understanding how transportation choices impact community. Mayor Boughton is stuck in a 1990s model of urban planning. It’s all cars, all the time. A great example was the redesign of Foster street.

From my observation, the library is the single largest bicycle destination in Danbury. The redesign of Foster as a one-way street made it impossible for a cyclist to properly ride from the library parking lot back to Main Street. Additionally, parking was added on Foster but not bike lanes or signs. It could not have been a worse design for downtown that is being revitalized for Millennials. After all, isn’t that the rationale for Kennedy Flats?

But this is just one example in Danbury’s inadequate urban transportation plan. All of us know there are few sidewalks in town. But Danbury is unique that it has virtually ZERO bicycling infrastructure. I do not believe you can find a revitalized community in the USA that has not put a focus on walking AND bicycling, especially downtown.

So not only did Mayor Boughton miss an opportunity on Foster, but also he has yet to find the time to implement one meaningful multi-modal transportation project, such as Complete Streets or police officers who bicycle on the road. That unfortunately seems by design.

I am convinced this is a blind spot that Mayor Boughton will not overcome. While I do not say this without some regret, I think it is time to elect a mayor who understands how to implement a successful “urban planning” effort. I am not sure that Mr. Almeida will do a better job, but I think he should be provided an opportunity.

Dave Fine

Danbury