CITY ANNOUNCES ‘COMPLETE STREETS’ MAKEOVER FOR INTERSECTION OF WHITNEY AND AUDUBON
(New Haven, Connecticut) The Whitney Avenue and Audubon Street intersection—situated in the heart of New Haven’s busy east side dining and shopping district and bordering Yale University and the Audubon Arts District—is getting a complete make-over.
The City of New Haven, utilizing the professional design services of CDM Smith, has redesigned the entire intersection using ‘Complete Streets’ principles.
The City of New Haven has one of the mostly densely populated downtowns in New England in addition to thousands of visitors to downtown each day. “This work is part of a larger effort by the City to make downtown easily navigable, more attractive, appealing and safe for everyone—pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “This redesign also creates a sense of place at the intersection.”
Complete streets are designed to enable safe access for everyone–pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers–and have been shown to promote health, reduce traffic congestion, and improve economic vitality. New Haven’s Complete Streets design manual was voted as the top manual—nationwide—by the National Safe Streets Coalition.
“Designing streets to just move cars doesn't work. This intersection will soon exemplify the direction that New Haven is taking with its street design and transportation safety policies by emphasizing pedestrian movement and support area businesses,” said Jim Travers, Director, Transportation, Traffic and Parking.
Kelly Murphy, the City’s Economic Development Administrator, said that feedback from existing businesses has been extremely positive. “These improvements will increase foot traffic for existing businesses and make the area more enticing for new businesses.”
The project employs ‘Complete Streets’ strategies and innovative traffic calming interventions to make the streets as conducive to pedestrian and bicycle travel as they are for motor vehicles and to encourage all users to share the street.
This ‘shared space’ is achieved using:
• A ‘speed table’ or elevated intersection with special textured and colored surfacing, including high-visibility crosswalks;
• Curb extensions or ‘bump-outs’ that reduce street widths at crosswalks and greatly enhance sight lines between pedestrians and motor vehicles;
• Increased sidewalk widths to provide space for pedestrian amenities such as seating and sidewalk cafes;
• Vertical edge treatments that will provide a buffer between sidewalks and travel lanes and also provide visual cues for motorists to anticipate increased pedestrian activity;
• New granite bollards, street trees and ornamental LED street lighting which are positioned to intensify lighting at crosswalks; and,
• Dual Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) activated by pedestrians that will alert drivers to crossing pedestrians using eye-level, LED strobe lights with an irregular flash pattern.
This visionary design for Whitney at Audubon will dramatically change the street environment to create an intersection that is safer for commuters, students and other residents alike. By making it safer for people to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work, the city is not only improving the efficiency and capacity of existing roadways, but also enhancing the daily lives of citizens.
Construction is expected to begin in October and be completed in December.