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Improving Transportation Options A Key Focus for League of Women Voters

June 1, 2011

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Promoting strategies to end gridlock on the state's highways has been a top priority of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut for the past five years. The group has endorsed the controversial New Britain-to-Hartford busway and says other improvements are essential.

Figuring out a multi-modal, connected system is fundamental, says Jara Burnett, the League's transportation specialist.

"It is the underlying engine that moves the economy, and we feel it's a critical, critical issue for residents of Connecticut."

The New Britain-to-Hartford busway is expensive, Burnett acknowledges, at almost $500 million for just under 10 miles. However, she notes that it will benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds.

"The busway is ready. It's been studied. It is going to create jobs. It is going to alleviate congestion along I-84."

The League also supports another policy that can save money and reduce the environmental impacts of traffic congestion, Burnett says.

"We also believe very strongly in the 'Fix it First' policy, which means maintain infrastructure before you create new roads or bridges."

The League also supports a project that would establish commuter rail service from New Haven through Hartford to Springfield, Mass., as well as moving much of the regional truck traffic from roads onto barges.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT