Gov. Dannel Malloy made a stop in New Britain on Wednesday to deliver a holiday gift of sorts in the form of a transportation grant for the city.
The nearly $2 million in funds awarded through the state’s Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program will help finance transit-oriented projects like the city’s Complete Streets Master Plan, which includes pedestrian infrastructure improvements to portions of Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street. The money will be used to improve sidewalks and lighting in the area.
Other cities and towns also received grant money from the program including Berlin where the town will use its funds for improvements around the new train station.
Maintaining infrastructure is one of the biggest and most costly concerns for local and state officials. Crumbling roads, unsafe bridges, damaged sidewalks, poorly lit streets, lack of parking, even missing signage, can contribute to other problems for cities and towns.
Residents are less likely to patronize local businesses if streets are riddled with potholes or parking is at a premium.
Companies may seek to establish offices elsewhere if spotty public transportation prevents them from drawing qualified workers.
“Constructing roadways that promote walkability, cycling and calmer motor vehicle traffic brings about a more vibrant and connected community that becomes more attractive to future developers,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
Improving existing infrastructure through state funding not only benefits residents, it helps maintain the foundation from which the city can grow and flourish.