‘Transform CT’ Looking for Transportation Inspiration
In an effort to develop a more “prosperous, sustainable, and livable Connecticut,” Governor Malloy recently launched a new, 18-month strategic transportation initiative called “Transform CT.”
According to the governor, the aim of Transform CT is to “improve economic growth and competitiveness, build sustainability, and provide a world class transportation system” in the state.
Getting there starts with ideas, and to help develop the plan, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) will solicit input from residents and businesses on Connecticut’s transportation issues.
DOT is planning a series of public meetings, focus groups and surveys to engage businesses, elected officials, and transportation advocacy groups in the effort.
But hearing from the public is already happening. DOT recently launched an interactive website, that allows visitors to log in using various social media accounts, and leave suggestions about how to improve the state’s transportation system.
Question prompts on the site include: “What is your vision for transportation in Connecticut?” and “What’s your big idea for the future of Connecticut?”
Not only can you add your own ideas, you can view, reply to, and rate others’ suggestions. All the public input will be evaluated and prioritized by DOT in order to develop the plan.
While the state’s recent transportation efforts have emphasized expanding public modes of transportation, such as buses and railways, several comments left by users of the new website noted a problem.
The state’s Special Transportation Fund (used by the legislature to fund transportation projects), they said, should be used to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and upgrades rather than being raided, as is now happening, for general government expenditures.
One source of transportation funding–revenue from the fuel tax charged to people filling up their vehicles at the gas pump (which was increased this year)–has raised over $2.6 billion since 2005, supposedly for transportation projects.
However, to date, the state has spent nearly half of that money on non-transportation projects.
Misappropriation of those funds is a serious problem, considering that DOT currently estimates that at least $12.5 billion is needed to pay for priority what the department deems “unfundable highway and bridge projects”
Unless the state can better manage its budget, finding and holding onto a dedicated source of funding for any new ideas that TransformCT identifies will also be a challenge.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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