Joseph Giulietti is finishing his first year as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, CDOT. He’s been busy and less visible in recent months, so imagine my surprise when he offered me a one-on-one, no holds barred interview.
Speed kills… and I don’t just mean methamphetamines. Speeding on our roads is linked to over 36,000 deaths each year in the U.S. That’s almost 700 deaths a week… 100 a day.
Did you know that Bridgeport was once the home of “the car of the future?” It was the Tesla of its era, but only three were ever built. This mystery vehicle? The Dymaxion Car. The designer? Buckminster Fuller.
Hardly a week goes by that an over-height truck and a low-slung bridge on the Merritt Parkway have a close encounter of the worst kind: a collision.
As we review the details of Gov. Ned Lamont’s CT2030 transportation plan, I have a strange sense of déjà vu. Haven’t we been through all this before?
Just when I thought Gov. Ned Lamont was getting it together to launch a thoughtful, considered “take two” on his transportation vision… bam! Along comes another nonsensical idea.
I’m a big fan of high speed trains, which means I often ride Amtrak’s Acela to Boston or Washington. It’s the best train in North America, though it pales in comparison to true HSR (high speed rail) in Europe or Asia. While Acela can hit a top speed of 150 mph, it does so on only 34 of the 457 miles between DC and Boston. Over the entire run, what with congestion and station stops, it only averages about 70 mph.
It shouldn’t come as much surprise to learn that commuting, especially by car, is hazardous to your health. Research now shows that the longer your drive, the greater the risk of obesity, heart attacks and even low birth-weight babies for moms-to-be. At fault are a number of factors:
Imagine having an unlimited-rides pass on all public transit in Connecticut, including Metro-North. Then imagine this pass only cost you $20 a year. Such is the reality of U-Pass, the transit pass given to almost 15,000 community college and state university students in our state. Not only does U-Pass give them affordable access to mass transit, in some cases the pass is a life changer.
Commuting is nothing new to Nutmeggers. But to appreciate our current challenges in “getting there,” consider what it was like centuries ago. As early as 1699 roads had been laid out on routes still used today. But where today those roads are now lined with trees, in the mid-1700’s those trees were gone as most of southern Fairfield county had been cleared to allow for farming.
How’s your commute going? Traffic getting worse? Trains still running late? As we all get back to work after the summer, commuters’ frustration level is rising as it seems nothing is being done to fix transportation.
Anthony Scasino is an ambassador, not for a foreign country, but for Metro-North. One of six Customer Service Ambassadors who work at the railroad’s busiest stations, he doesn’t have a consulate or embassy, just the Stamford Railroad station as his headquarters.
Today you can fly non-stop from New York to Los Angeles in six hours, with one-way transit often costing less than $200. But in the 1930s, the pioneers of commercial air service would use planes, trains and buses to get from coast-to-coast in 48 hours – for a mere $5,200.
It was the railroad trip from hell: the hottest day of the year, stuck for five hours on a sold out Amtrak train where only half the cars had air conditioning.
Do you know how bad Connecticut’s air quality is? According to the American Lung Association, all of our state’s counties got a grade of “F” when it comes to ozone.