Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Revitalizing America's Train Stations

Amtrak had developed a new website entitled Great American Stations with information on how to revitalize historic train stations. Click here to visit the website.

Windsor Locks in Plans for New Haven-Springfield Commuter Rail

Windsor Locks is slated to be a stop on the New Haven-Springfield Commuter Rail Line - including a bus link to Bradley International Airport. Click on the following links for more information:

Video for the project

Newsletter for the project

Website for the project

Relocation of Amtrak Stop Investigated

One of the major recommendations from the Main Street Master Planning Study was the relocation of the train stop from the outskirts of downtown back into the heart of Main Street. The proposal is to move the train stop to north of the historic train station in the vicinity of the Amtrak maintenance yard. We have had several meetings with Amtrak and ConnDOT officials regarding this recommendation. The relocation largely hinges upon signalization and preemption issues. At a Town Meeting on July 7, 2009 residents voted to move forward with hiring a nationally recognized expert on these issues, Rick Campbell and his team from Campbell Technology Corporation, to review the Route 159/Route 140 intersection and provide valuable feedback as to the feasibility of relocating the train station.
The scope of the work will include:
  • Site visit to current train stop and proposed relocation site;
  • Review of existing plans (preemption, crossing warning, traffic signals);
  • Develop recommendations;
  • Meet with Town, DOT and Amtrak officials; and
  • Prepare executive summary and technical memorandum outlining findings and recommendations.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Short Term Aesthetic Recommendations

Ferrero-Hixon has prepared a series of short-term, relatively low cost enhancements and preliminary budget items that the Town, businesses and residents can pursue, including amongst other things:
  • Install additional street trees in vicinity of public senior housing ($11,250);
  • Relocate existing donation containers from the Walter Bass property to another less visible location:
  • Add some street trees north of the historic train station and place a series of graphic boards highlighting the downtown and possibly pave a 25' strip for a clean edge ($38,650);
  • Scrape and paint all exterior trim on the historic train station and put graphics boards in the windows ($11,640);
  • Provide banners and flags on street lights on the 140 Bridge ($3,200);
  • Hanging flower boxes on the Canal Bridge($350);
  • Place fountain with lighting on both sides of canal bridge providing a gateway to the Town Center ($10,00);
  • Use Algonquin power smokestakes for some graphic identifying landmark;
  • Encourage Ahlstrom to replicate their histogram on the exterior of their building or along canal and provide tours of their operation;
  • Paint existing overhead pipes at Ahlstrom and develop and mount a Windsor Locks sign ($12,000);
  • Replace existing flower pots with 30 substantial rectagular planters ($36,000);
  • Work with Dexter Plaza ownership for use of the parking lot for a Farmers Market or other activities/events that would draw people;
  • Install ornamental street lighting along western side of Route 159 ($4,000 each);
  • Waterside Village facade improvements ($49,180);
  • Add perennial plantings in existing street tree pits for sustainable seasonal color ($760); and
  • String white lights on existing street trees.

Funding could be a mix of donations, town funds, grant funds and in-kind services.