NEW HAVEN BECOMES A PACE CAR CITY
(10/31/2007) NEW HAVEN- Traffic presents a problem in any City. But, in New Haven, where a significant number of cyclists and pedestrians share the road with automobiles, there is a unique challenge to help all parties work together to decrease traffic and make everyone’s commute less stressful. Alderwoman Erin Sturgis-Pascale (D-14) brought the idea of Pace Cars to City Hall, a concept that originated in Boise, Idaho and has been replicated in Atlanta, Greensboro, Santa Cruz, Honolulu, Salt Lake City, and other cities and towns across the nation. The New Haven Pace Car Pledge is a citizen-based traffic calming initiative of cars calming other cars.
Although a voluntary initiative, participants are required to fill out and submit a “pledge card” to City Hall for which they, in turn, receive a bright yellow decal to display on their vehicles. By signing the card, participants agree to set the “pace” for other drivers and serves as a reminder to share the road and take responsibility for safer streets and neighborhoods. The pledge that states, “I will drive safely, courteously, and within the speed limit on our city streets and receive an official ‘New Haven Pace Car’ decal to display on my vehicle.” The window decal is a reminder to other users of the road as well as a “pledge reminder” to Pace Car drivers that they are taking part in a community-based effort to address the problems of traffic speed, safety, and congestion in New Haven.
Pledge cards can be downloaded on the City’s website at www.cityofnewhaven.com. Decals will be mailed to participants after their signed pledge is received.
At a kick-off event today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. encouraged residents to become part of the solution to New Haven’s traffic problem by participating in the Pace Car program. “As drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians of the City of New Haven it is our responsibility to share the road,” said DeStefano. “We hope this program will bring attention to the importance of road safety, patience and courteous driving. We continue to work with our department of traffic and parking, police department, management teams and residents to implement solutions to issues of speed, traffic and safety.”
The Pace Car program is one of a number of traffic calming initiatives in the City. In the last few months, construction was completed on traffic circles on Woodward Avenue in the East Shore and traffic humps were installed in multiple locations through New Haven including West Rock and Fair Haven. Traffic calming efforts will continue to be implemented throughout the City through the Department of Traffic and Parking and the City Engineer’s office.
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