Aldermen to vote on streetscape manual

The Board of Aldermen is expected to vote today to approve measures aimed at making New Haven’s roads safer to walk.

The board will vote on a 117-page manual for the “Complete Streets” program, which will create pedestrian-, bike- and public transportation-friendly roads through infrastructure changes (including sidewalk widening). The manual will act as a “toolbox” and resource guide for the city, said Erin Sturgis-Pascale, former Ward 14 alderwoman and assistant to the director of sustainable transportation at Yale.

In 2008, the Board of Aldermen approved the creation of a steering committee to write the manual. As a member, Sturgis-Pascale was one of the aldermen who proposed the legislation originally. Earlier that same year, Mila Rainof MED ’08 and 11-year-old Gabrielle Lee died after being hit by cars near campus. The aldermanic city services and environmental policy committee voted to approve the manual over the summer.

“It’s still probably the No. 1 concern I hear, just overall street safety,” said Ward 25 Alderman Greg Dildine, vice chair of the city services and environmental policy committee and a member of the steering committee.

The most important part of the manual, Sturgis-Pascale said, is a public request form that groups of neighbors can use to enlist the city’s help on traffic problems.

There is no specific cost attached to the manual, Sturgis-Pascale said.

Sturgis-Pascale added that she hopes the document will be improved as time goes on.

“We did a pretty good job of laying out what should be done, and I think it is quite progressive,” she said. “But I do hope it remains alive because it needs to be improved now, and that’s the key.”

The board will meet at 7 p.m. It will also discuss a measure to expand Zipcar service across the city.

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