As an example, he cited a nasty pedestrian traffic situation in Westport along Route 1 around the Bulkley Avenue intersection. (Route 1 is routinely labeled as Connecticut's most dangerous road for pedestrians because of its massive traffic volumes and high population densities.)
In 2008 and 2010, that section saw two people killed while walking. In 2011, the Shake Shack opened, and that hamburger spot drew even more foot traffic and saw another pedestrian injured. That poor sucker also got hit with a ticket for failing to cross in a marked crosswalk and failing to give way to a car.
After lots of discussions and studies, the town of Westport and the state agreed to make safety improvements. And in June 2013, new sidewalks and crosswalks and countdown pedestrian signals were finally installed.
Another example of the DOT's changing attitude toward non-motorized road users was the agency's decision to put a dangerous stretch of Route 44 (Burnside Avenue) in East Hartford on a "road diet." The trigger was the death of three cyclists on that roadway in less than two years.
The unprecedented move by Connecticut's traditionally auto-oriented DOT slimmed down the four-lane highway to two lanes and made pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly changes to parking and crosswalks.
Unfortunately, say Connecticut transportation activists, those are isolated examples.
"We haven't implemented our "Complete Streets" law in any systematic, meaningful way in Connecticut," says Kennedy.
Higashide agrees. He points out that the DOT still hasn't even incorporated the "Complete Streets" design philosophy into its guidelines for the agency's highway engineers.