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Categorized | Hartford

Group Receives Grant for Crash Reduction Efforts

By Kevin James, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — City residents may be noticing neon signs and yellow crosswalks around Hartford.

Thanks to a national grant to support crash reduction efforts in the city. Hartford has one of the highest car, pedestrian and bike crashes in the metro area, according to Transport Hartford.

And crash rates in the capital city are an urgent concern for the Greater Hartford region. That’s why bright, durable signs reminding drivers to yield to pedestrians are now placed at 30 crosswalks throughout Hartford.

The National Safety Council Grant supporting Transport Hartford at the Center for Latino Progress was used to purchase 46 crosswalk signs and repair parts. The crosswalks were then donated to the city. A team from Hartford’s Department of Public Works placed the signs throughout high risk pedestrian crossings in the city on Sept. 14.

The project is a result of the work of Transport Hartford, which during the summer sought community input at neighborhood meetings and local events to identify locations for the signs. At those meetings, organizers shared a map of pedestrian and bicycle crash locations to best focus safety improvement suggestions.  Before the signs were installed, Transport Hartford’s youth interns conducted research at high crash corridors and crosswalk locations in Hartford, observing pedestrian, cyclist and driver behavior. They tracked how many cars passed before pedestrians could cross safely, what level of conflict existed between crossing pedestrians and cars, and how many pedestrians crossed within marked crosswalks.

Now that the signs are placed, the Transport Hartford Road to Zero coalition is gearing up for a busy fall. In addition to the signs, the yearlong grant is funding part time employment for over a dozen young adults across the city, to conduct research, education, and outreach to improve vulnerable user safety. The Road to Zero team based at The Center will develop a presentation about road safety to share at schools, libraries, community organizations, and other neighborhood spaces. Interns working with the Hartford Police Explorers will evaluate the effectiveness of the crosswalk signs with continued the counts and observations, while learning about traffic enforcement.

The Blue Hills Civic Association will lead a service learning internship project, including a public education on road safety in high crash corridors in North Hartford.

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