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Friday, July 07, 2006

DeStefano announces transportation plan

This is a topic that hits home to people living in Fairfield County. Just try driving from Danbury to I-84/I-691 interchange and you'll see what I mean.

From DeStefano press release:
John DeStefano, Democratic candidate for governor, began a two part whistle stop tour through Fairfield County today to announce his new transportation policy. Lawmakers, elected officials, and supporters from Bridgeport, Fairfield and Norwalk joined DeStefano as he greeted commuters and discussed his plan to improve Connecticut's neglected rails, roads, and ports.

DeStefano's plan calls for sweeping improvements to Connecticut's transportation infrastructure, including: implementation of commuter rail from New Haven to Springfield, the creation of a bi-state Connecticut-Massachusetts Airport and Development Authority, the formation of the Port of Connecticut, and increased parking and safety measures at rail stations along Metro-North commuter rail line

"Connecticut's quality of life is in serious jeopardy because Governors Rowland and Rell have failed to address our state's transportation crisis," said DeStefano. "Gridlock is driving jobs out of the state and forcing people to spend dinnertime in their car instead of with their family. As governor, I would lead the effort to revitalize our roads, ports, and rail."


DeStefano's transportation policy addresses many of Connecticut's critical needs. The highlights are listed below:

* Creation a new state agency to manage the state's public transit system. (According to the Connecticut Commuter Council, Connecticut is the only state in the nation to run its commuter rail operations out of its department of transportation).

* Create a bi-state Connecticut-Massachusetts Airport and Development Authority. It would aggressively manage the airport and market Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

* Widen I-95 from Branford to the Rhode Island border.

* Audit of all bridges should be completed with a financing plan and timetable to address the State's needs prioritizing safety and usage.

* Immediately invest in commuter rail between service between New Haven and Springfield and pursue commuter rail along I-84.

* Improve freight rail access to Connecticut. Rail options for freight should be expanded using Connecticut’s north-south connections to the CSX facilities in Massachusetts.

* Work with New York State to re-establish rail freight movement across the Hudson River and New York Harbor.

* Increase parking, lighting and safety at Metro-North stops in Fairfield County.

* Create a true Port of Connecticut capable of supporting all three ports with financial resources, expanded bonding capacity, planning assistance, and marketing capacity.

* Develop the Port of New London and I-395 into a commercial corridor.

* Immediately seek proposals for high speed ferry service to each of the state's ports with connections to Long Island and New York City.
Interesting points are made here by Mayor DeStefano although I would like to hear about how we're going to pay for these improvements. I'll be interviewing Mayor DeStefano tomorrow and I'll make sure to bring this topic up so he can expalin this proposal in greater detail.