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Young people are moving back to cities in greater and greater numbers, changing the demographics and interest in urban living for the better. But I can proudly and truly say that the humble metropolis of New Britain, Connecticut, where I live is doing more than most to make this former manufacturing center a place to live and play again. The 9.4 mile CT Fastrak Bus Rapid Transit system between New Britain and the state capital of Hartford is perhaps the most important element to New Britain’s future success.
It also means I can get drunk at the downtown bars and ride the bus to the station nearest my house for less than the cost of a beer, and without ever having to get behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, the nearest station is still about two miles away, and while I’m an avid runner, I’m also sweat profusely. These two changes will have a profound impact on New Britain, especially the downtown area which has been largely neglected for decades. More businesses will move to New Britain too, drawn by low property values and historic factory buildings begging to be remade into high-end apartments and offices. All the pieces are there to turn New Britain into a young, vibrant, and culturally diverse city that’s also a lot more affordable than surrounding areas like West Hartford and Farmington. As far away as 2030 seems, everyday the future looks a lot brighter for New Britain, Connecticut. Christopher DeMorro A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, Chris can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
Gas 2 is a Technorati Top 10 blog, and part of the Important Media network of blogs working to make the world a better, greener place. One thing that we are very passionate about at UP is the degrading effect suburban sprawl has had on middle class neighborhoods, especially, on Long Island. The Long Island Project is proposing three distinct methods of architectural intervention at the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) significant stations. In the main parking lot of the Port Washington Station a restructured ground plane would be developed to allow for modern, mixed-use towers.
With a delicate hand, modern additions will be injected into the downtown areas of Port Washington. Within walking distance of the Port Washington Station, compact modern single and multi-family housing would be designed. The implementation of The Long Island Project's three architectural interventions in Port Washington would create a radical shift in the evolution of residential and commercial development. The Metrolink passenger rail extension and the Omnitrans sbX rapid transit service provide new public transit options to Inland Empire residents. SAN BERNARDINO, CA  – Changing the way people travel throughout the Inland Empire is the goal of two projects that started construction on Tuesday, February 25, following a groundbreaking ceremony in downtown San Bernardino.

The first project is the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project (DTSBPRP), which will extend the Metrolink line from the historic Santa Fe Depot one mile east, where it will join with the second project,  the future San Bernardino Transit Center, to be constructed at Rialto Avenue and “E” Street in the city.
These two projects represent a partnership between the Federal Transit Administration, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Omnitrans, Metrolink, and the City of San Bernardino. Members of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce are all smiles at the groundbreaking event. The Transit Center is expected to be completed in Early 2015, while the Metrolink extension and Santa Fe Depot modifications should be completed by Summer 2016. Leslie Rogers of the Federal Transit Administration show his support for the groundbreaking ceremony of the future San Bernardino Transit Center. To meet the challenges of these young and vibrant citizens, many municipalities are scrambling to come up with transportation solutions that appeal to Millennials like myself.
This includes a Bus Rapid Transit system, the addition of many miles of new bike lanes, and major reinvestment in downtown that is one of the many reasons I decided to buy my own home in a city many people have written off as beyond repair.
Originally conceived over a decade ago and passed through two Republican governors, the project was finally given the greenlight by current Democratic Governor Dan Malloy. That’s an especially big perk for students at CCSU (my alma mater, I should note), who have limited bar options in the immediate area but are subject to frequent DUI checkpoints.
But Mayor Stewart is investing more money into beautifying downtown ahead of the busway’s opening, and the effort is attracting businesses and people to an area once avoided. CCSU plans to build dorms and classrooms downtown, bringing more students (and their money) downtown, and further encouraging development to cater to their needs. People will take bikes and buses to work, and eventually the main downtown area could even be closed off to all vehicle traffic, giving the city back to the people who live there and promoting street fairs, farmers markets, and other such events that would bring people back into the city.
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The first restructures the LIRR parking lots to create highly evolved, sustainable, modern communities. These towers would include residential and commercial spaces, and would also attract the public to the parks, recreation areas, restaurants, and shops at street level. These interventions could arrive as vertical or horizontal housing units above the existing buildings. The design of these new homes, or additions, would maximize their efficiency and would be grounded in sustainability. With buses running every five minutes between several different stations connecting to strategically-located stops in New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, and Hartford, the busway will allow residents to skip the congested I-84 highway on their way to working at one of the many insurance agencies residing in downtown Hartford. The busway opens to the public on March 28th, 2015, and I plan to be a frequent user of public transit once it opens up.

A bicycle of course, which plays into the growing number of bike lanes all across the city. I predict a new wave of bars and clubs will open up downtown, specifically on Arch Street, which was once known as a happenin’ place to be. New Britain has a huge art crowd too, drawn by dozens of unique murals all over the city, as well as the artists co-op and world-renowned New Britain Museum of American Art that houses pieces from many famous American artists.
Read all about the contest at the link above, and if you want to enter your own story about what your city will look like in 2030, head over here.
Restructuring parking around those areas and creating smaller, affordable and sustainable homes will keep the young, talented professionals from Long Island on Long Island.
Given the location of these towers, the immediate need to own a car would be abated and carpool programs would be implemented for any subsequent need for a car. These new structures would increase density in Port Washington's downtown while freeing up land that would otherwise be covered by suburban sprawl. The proximity to the train station would allow small families to reduce the need for multiple automobiles.
Many of the significant Long Island Rail Road stations could implement these planning strategies which would create new and diverse architectural textures and bring a different scale to Long Island.
Under (Republican!) Mayor Erin Stewart, the number of marked bike lanes has swelled, and because the CT Fastrak buses will have front-mounted bike racks, I can bring it with me on my journey downtown.
New businesses will come downtown too, especially if Mayor Stewart keeps good on her promise to bring the (exorbitant) tax rate down, after raising them to make up for years of budget deficits. Finally, the project introduces sustainable, modern, single-family housing within walking distance of the train. The use of sustainable technology and design would allow these modern additions to power the existing buildings below. With the integration of these three strategies, the surrounding communities would become destinations themselves rather than simply existing as a stop on someone's daily commute.
14.A  Those changes will involve moving bus routes and stops out of Williams Park and relocating them throughout the city into a new, destination-friendly grid pattern, PSTA officials said.

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