Support Given to Pathways School
much discussion and debate on the proposal to build the Pathways
to Technology Magnet High School at the corner of Broad St and
Farmington Ave, three community members of the Mayor’s
Task Force gave a conditional nod June 20 to continue planning
for the school.
members Bernie Michael, Sally Taylor and Phil Will received a
commitment from Mayor Eddie Perez who also chairs the Hartford
School Building Committee at the committee’s June 20 meeting.
The conditions of community support are as follows:
- The City
Department of Development Services is designated as the lead
agency for overseeing the Gateway planning process, in close
coordination with the Department of Public Works;
groups, including the 3 community organizations participating
in the current task force, are involved in a significant way;
- Ken Greenberg
is directed to provide early input as part of the Hartford
2010 planning effort;
and immediate effort is made to
alternative traffic plans,
related environmental improvements, and
a realistic implementation strategy to accomplish these
If these conditions
are deemed acceptable by Mayor Perez, the representatives of
the community groups will make their best efforts to achieve
significant community support for the siting of the Pathways
School at Farmington Avenue and Broad Street. If these
conditions cannot be met, or fail to be achieved, community support
will not be forthcoming. (July 2006)
Designer Ken Greenberg Reviews Pathways School Proposal
Perez brought noted urban planner Ken Greenberg and his traffic
engineer, Fred Gorove, to Hartford April 17-18 to conduct a peer
review on the proposal for placing the Pathways to Technology
Magnet School at the corner of Broad and Farmington.
Hartford visit they met with school officials, consulted with
traffic engineers from the City of Hartford and the Connecticut
Department of Transportation, regional planning agency staff,
building architects, the Farmington Avenue Alliance, Farmington
Avenue Business District, the Asylum Hill Problem Solving Revitalization
Association and the community at large.
concluded a school could be built on the 2-acre site but said
major improvements were needed to the streets surrounding the
school and to the school’s building design to be successful.
Fred Gorove outlined three preliminary concepts of how to improve
the street network at the Farmington and Asylum Avenue merge,
continuing as far west as Sumner Street. He proposed closing
Asylum to through traffic where it meets Farmington, converting
the unused roadbed into a greenway and bike/pedestrian path while
allowing emergency access to surrounding buildings. Pedestrian
improvements (adding width to the sidewalk and narrowing vehicle
travel lanes) should also continue down Asylum Avenue beyond
the train station to Bushnell Park Greenberg said.
found the area road network confusing, with too much unnecessary
pavement, poor pedestrian zones and difficult turning movements
for vehicles leading to congestion and accidents at the Broad/Farmington/Cogswell/Asylum
intersections. He believes traffic flow and safety would be greatly
improved by eliminating some of the turning movements at the
transportation planner for the Capitol Region Council of Governments
(CRCOG), said he thought the timing may be right for serious
attention to be paid to the road network in the vicinity of the
proposed magnet school. He said previous efforts to improve the
area only nibbled at pieces of the problem. Nothing that’s
been done or is currently on the drawing board took a large enough
view. Maziarz offered CRCOG’s help to bring interested
parties together to determine how funding can be obtained to
make major improvements.
preliminary report also suggested significant changes to the
building design. He recommended underground rather than surface
parking, creating a more pedestrian-friendly face to the building
along the sidewalk areas and tweaking the design to make sure
the front door entrance at the corner of Broad and Farmington
is actively used.
who oversees construction of the magnet schools for the City
of Hartford said a decision on whether or not the City will proceed
with the site will have to be made soon if it is to meet court
related deadlines and stay within budget. (April 24, 2006)
and Asylum Avenue Property Owners May Consider Proposal
to Establish a Business Improvement District (Feb
with frontage on Asylum and Farmington Avenue in Hartford may
have a rare opportunity to participate in a proposed Business
Improvement District (BID) that would provide enhanced services,
paid for by members of the BID, to supplement those provided
by the City of Hartford.
include sidewalk litter clean-up, streetscape beautification
and improvements, street banners, graffiti removal, district
promotions and public relations and hospitality/block watch services.
two major corporate citizens, Aetna and The Hartford, have been
asked to join the proposal for a downtown BID but these companies
are more likely to participate if their immediate neighborhood
can receive services provided by the BID.
how the BID would work. Fifty one percent of property owners
in the BID area must vote to join the BID which is funded and
managed by its own members. If this occurs, every property will
be assessed a fixed rate of 1 mil of assessed property value.
The money is collected by the City and turned over to the BID
to provide targeted services within the BID area.
cost to individual property owners is based on the assessed value
of each property, the largest amount of money to support the
enhanced services of a BID will be paid by the neighborhood’s
two largest taxpayers – Aetna and The Hartford. These two
properties would contribute 80% of the cost of the BID while
the remaining 118 potential properties to be included if the
BID extended to Woodland Street on Asylum Avenue and Prospect
Avenue on Farmington Avenue, would pay 20%.
The cost to
an individual property owner is capped at 1 mil or $1 per thousand
dollars of assessed property value. For example, for a property
valued at $250,000, the total annual contribution to the BID
would be $250.
of the BID in the Asylum/Farmington Avenue area will be drawn
based on interest in creating a BID by the affected property
owners. The proposed BID territory is likely to extend from downtown
Hartford as far as Sigourney Street. How far west it goes beyond
Sigourney Street will be based on interest by property owners.
session on the BID is scheduled at the Hartford Children’s
Theatre, 360 Farmington Avenue, Hartford on Thursday,
May 4at 5 pm. Questions may also be
directed to Phil Will, President of the Farmington Asylum Business
District (860) 983-6070.
High School Proposed on Farmington Avenue
The City of
Hartford’s Building Committee for Hartford Public Schools
is evaluating a proposal for a 400-student technology magnet
school at the corner of Broad Street and Farmington Avenue.
would be built on a vacant lot that had been fenced off and unkempt
until a group of community volunteers planted trees, cut the
grass and put in a walking path. (see
Perez, chair of the Building Committee, said the site is being
considered for the school because it would not take more property
of the tax rolls and its location near local employers would
be an asset for the students.
has generated a lot of debate. Some people have cited concerns
about traffic at the already congested corner, pedestrian safety,
limited parking and air quality and noise impacts from the adjacent
highway. Others view the school as a potential asset as it would
create positive activity in a vacant corner and provide mentoring
opportunities to students.
on the fate of the proposed school location is expected in early
TO VOTE ON NEWSRACK ORDINANCE
The City of
Hartford may vote to rein in the color, materials and location
of newsracks that line city many major streets, including Farmington
that would regulate newsracks will come before the Court of Common
Council in February. A public hearing on the issue is set for
February 21 at 7 PM.
Avenue Alliance has advocated for control of newsracks. The majority
of the boxes contain advertisements that often spill out onto
the sidewalks when boxes are tipped over and used for benches,
especially at bus stops. (Feb
A CITY CORNER
On a warm,
sunny Saturday in early June, saws were buzzing, hammers were
pounding and drummers were tapping a joyous rhythm. The Laurel
Gardeners had organized a work party and celebration.
had work to do.
had to be built, mulch spread, and flower boxes filled with flowers.
Two maple trees had just found a new home, replacing dying poplar
trees removed the week before.
planting day organizers had more in mind than putting people
to work. They wanted to bring people out to the one quarter acre
plaza at the corner of Laurel and Farmington for a gathering
with music, food and good spirit. They hoped to show how the
plaza could be a community asset, not a place to avoid.
Brenda McCumber got money from the Greater Hartford Arts Council
to pay for musicians and solicited area restaurants for food
donations. Imlay Street resident Linda Johnson arranged for the
Salvation Army to set up a canteen at the site that supplied
food and water for the whole day.
Perez mingled with the 250-300 people at the Community Day. He
told the gathering he thought the corner could go in either direction,
“continue in a positive way, with community involvement like
I see today or go the other way.” The mayor said he would
do all he could to support the Laurel/Farmington area.
Community Day Photos | Contributors
EARTH DAY AT CITY FAIR
Avenue Alliance made its case for healthy streets at Hartford’s
Earth Day Fair. Streets that are comfortable for walking and
biking are healthier for people and mother earth. The Alliance
had a booth at the Hartford Public Library, one of the locations
for the festive event, and passed out bookmarks to visitors.
END’S RISING STAR AREA
LINE FARMINGTON AVENUE
banners heralding Mayor Perez’s rising star program line
Farmington Avenue bringing a row of color to the avenue. The
banners grace poles between Whitney and Prospect Avenue. West
End blocks from Tremont to Prospect and Boulevard to Farmington
are participating in the rising star program. Homeowners are
entitled to low cost loans to fix up their property and other
neighborhood improvements. A committee of neighbors has earmarked
funds for planting trees, banners, new street signs advertising
the historic West End and speed tables to calm traffic on Oxford,
Tremont and Beacon Streets.
END FARMERS' MARKET THRIVING
flowers and vegetables are being sold at the corner of Whitney
and Farmington on the side lawn of United Methodist Church on
Tuesdays and Fridays from 4-7 p.m. Now in its third season, market
organizer, Rob Miller is pleased with neighborhood support of
the market, the only one in Hartford to offer music by local musicians
as people shop.
Team Plants 40 Trees at Vacant Farmington Avenue Lot (Spring 2005)
A crew of 30
city and suburban volunteers led by Knox Parks Foundation took the
first steps in reclaiming for civic use a vacant parcel at Farmington
Avenue’s busiest intersection.
On a warm Saturday
in April, 32 trees were planted along the property’s street
edge. Flowering trees were planted along the highway edge of the
parcel. Shade and ornamental trees now line the sidewalks of Farmington
Avenue and Broad Street. Another 8 trees were planted in October.
The 2 1/2 -
acre lot, formerly the site of Hartford Public High School, has
been vacant since the 1960’s when the construction of Interstate
84 cut through the City of Hartford.
of workers pass the lot daily on their way to and from work.
Next step in
the project will be to create a quarter-mile elliptical shaped stone
dust path for people to use for walking or jogging. Once completed
the 6-foot fence walling off the property will be removed. An existing
memorial to the former Hartford Public, the second oldest public
high school in the nation and is fondly remembered by many graduates
who live in the Hartford area, will be relocated to a more prominent
area on the site.
has been aided by former Hartford Public High School graduate James
Kinsella who administers the Alexander A. Goldfarb Memorial Trust.
here for more pictures at the Urban Forum's website.
Springing Up in Asylum Hill
To celebrate and highlight 16 building and restoration projects
recently completed, now underway or in the works, banners are
rising throughout the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
Johnson, Executive Director of NINA (Northside Institutions Neighborhood
Alliance) spearheaded the project working with neighbors and the
Greater Hartford Arts Council. Funding assistance was provided
by The Hartford.