This week, Governor Ned Lamont will unveil yet another try at a transportation plan for the state. I have no idea what will be in it, but I’m pretty sure it will go nowhere fast thanks to a stout resistance on the part of the state’s curmudgeons to the idea of spending money on anything that isn’t a twenty-lane expressway, and a stout resistance on the part of everyone else to tolls on the highways.
In short, we want nothing to ever change, and nothing to get more expensive. So while the governor tries to develop the plan we need, let me present the transportation plan we all deserve.
Hello from the Department of Transportation!
Here we present the Connecticut Roadway Additions Plan, which will prioritize expressways for renovation and enhancement. We at the DOT have decided to scrap years of studies and expert knowledge in favor of what you, the public, have been saying on Facebook: traffic will improve if we just add more lanes to everything. So that is what we’re going to do.
However, these improvements are not without cost. To defray the cost of this plan without resorting to tolls we have drawn up a list of highways that will be enhanced, and highways that will be downsized or deleted.
First, the expressways that will see expansion:
Interstate 95 — I-95 is our busiest highway, and a vital link between New York and Boston. We plan to widen the highway to five lanes in each direction, all along its length! This construction will be paced to allow for the maximum amount of cost-saving, and will take 35 years.
Interstate 91 & Interstate 84 — We won’t have the money to widen I-84 or I-91 through construction, so we’re going to do the next best thing: starting tomorrow, everyone gets to use the HOV lanes and the gutter in between whenever they want! Yes, the highway will still merge from five lanes down to two in Hartford, but we are sure that won’t cause any problems.
As for the aging bridges in downtown Hartford, plans to replace them will be on hold until more funding appears. Think of it as a game: every time you go through Hartford without the bridges collapsing, give yourself a point. See who can score the most points before the inevitable. Fun!
And now, the list of downsizings and deletions:
Interstate 291 — Gone!
Interstate 395 — We are planning on selling this interstate and all the land east of it to Rhode Island. Problem solved!
Route 2 — We have outsourced the management and maintenance of this highway to the Mohegan Sun. They have indicated they will change the official name of the highway from the “Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway” to “Casino Traffic Only.”
Route 7 —There’s a Route 7? Are you sure?
Route 8 — As we have no evidence that anyone has ever driven on this road, we will be deleting it.
Route 9 — Plans to remove the traffic lights in Middletown will be shelved. More traffic lights will be added at random intervals.
Route 11 — We’re pretty sure we already closed this one years ago.
You won’t need trains when we’re done widening I-95, so we’re discontinuing all Metro-North and Shore Line East services north of Greenwich. Get to the Cos Cob station parking lot early.
3. Bus System
The bus system is confusing and inconvenient, and the buses themselves are full of the sorts of people the good, car-loving public of the suburbs would like to not be in their towns. Therefore, all bus service outside the limits of the cities of Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport will be replaced by expensive rideshares and weed-choked sidewalks.
CTFastrak will be converted into a six-lane divided highway.
This plan takes into account the growing number of people who wish to commute by bicycle. To this end, all expressways will now have a bike lane. May fortune favor the swift.
Lastly, as a cost-saving measure, the Department of Transportation will be outsourcing all of our planning functions to whoever happens to be at McDonalds right now, and we will be replacing our palatial Newington headquarters with a tar-paper shack under the Dexter Coffin Bridge.
In closing, if you find yourself in traffic after we implement this plan, don’t come crying to us! We won’t be there anyway.
Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.
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