City begins work on Route 6 study

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

The city of Bristol is gearing up for a study that will guide future decisions on Route 6.

With the expertise from consultant firm Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., Bristol has started a Route 6 Corridor Study, which will create a long-term plan for how best to encourage reinvestment in the corridor and future development that all Bristol residents desire.

The area being studied includes three parts of Bristol: Farmington Avenue, downtown and Terryville Avenue.

Carol Gould, senior project manager of Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., said the study will serve as a planning guide for the Planning Commission. The commission serves as the study committee for the project.

The consultant, which previously worked on Bristol’s Route 72 Corridor Study, plans to share a final report either at the end of this year or in early 2017. The Planning Commission is expected to review the preliminary report submitted by the consultant some time this fall. A joint public meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commissions will take place to further refine the study later in the fall.

“We will present them with a broad strategy or concept for land-use along the corridor—what types of uses, how it should be laid out and organized,” said Gould, adding that the firm is working closely with Bristol’s land use department. “We’ll also have a transportation strategy. We’re looking at everything from sidewalks to bicycles…to transits, so we’re considering all modes of travel.”

“We will act expeditiously on the recommendations, and we’ll do that in the context of the Planning Commission and their direction to staff,” added Assistant City Planner Robert Flanagan.

Flanagan said the idea to begin a study on Route 6 stemmed from concern among members of the public, boards, and commissions for many years. He said the goal of the study is to balance the needs of the residential and business community.

“The concern rose out of development that might be taking place out there that needed some kind of specialized plan to look at it through a different kind of lens,” said Flanagan. “We look at the Route 6 Corridor Study as balancing the needs of both the residents of the city…and the business community.”

Flanagan added that the Route 6 section of both the city’s 2000 and 2015 Plan of Conservation and Development recommended a study of the corridor.

“We thought now was the time to go ahead and start the study,” said Flanagan. “The study has been a long time in the making, and we hope that once we’re done with the process, it will be just as effective as the previous studies [including] the Route 72 Corridor Study and the West End Neighborhood Study.”

The public recently had an opportunity to learn more about the study while engaging in a dialogue about the project during a community workshop held at Tunxis Community College’s Bristol location.

City staff will meet with the consultant in August to review the findings of data collection and feedback from the public workshop, said Flanagan.

“It was very heartening to see the amount of community interest and participation at the workshop,” said Flanagan.

The community also had a chance to weigh in on the study through an online survey, which will remain open until July 9. T

For more information about the study or to take the Route 6 survey, visit ct-bristol.civicplus.com/route6study.Bristol All Heart