The Issues Transportation
Moving People, Moving Goods, Creating Jobs: Chris’ Plan for Transportation
Connecticut and the 5th Congressional District will be better positioned to compete in the regional, national, or global economies when we update our aging infrastructure. As your representative in Congress, Chris will work hard to maximize federal transportation funding while continuing to work in partnership with Governor Malloy and leadership in the state legislature to ensure that state dollars are being allocated in an efficient and targeted manner.
Connecting Meriden to the Knowledge Corridor intercity rail line.
Chris has been at the forefront of the push to create the Knowledge Corridor commuter rail line that would connect New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, Massachusetts via downtown Meriden. In Congress, Chris will continue to fight for every dollar of federal funds necessary to finally bring this commuter rail line into service. Linking Meriden to New Haven and Hartford will reinvigorate Meriden’s downtown neighborhood, and connect the city to New York, Boston, and Bradley Airport. The line will create much-needed construction jobs, form the northeastern backbone of a national high-speed rail system, provide the infrastructure necessary to allow business growth in Meriden and Cheshire, encourage transit-oriented development around Meriden’s railroad station, and alleviate traffic on the overcrowded Interstate 91. All told, the project is expected to create 8,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Bringing the Waterbury Line into the 21st century.
For years, officials have been considering upgrades to the Waterbury branch of the Metro-North railroad. However, people in the metro Waterbury area know all too well that the time for studies has passed. It is time to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for upgrading the Waterbury branch. Linking the Waterbury area to Bridgeport, New Haven, and New York City will bolster the region’s economy. Not only will new investment in these rail infrastructure upgrades put skilled laborers, engineers, and tradesmen back to work in the short term, it will help create jobs and grow businesses in the long term as well by creating a real link between the 5th District and the New York metro area. This will make it much more feasible for people in the 5th district to commute to and from good jobs in New Haven and New York without having to negotiate congested interstate highways. Moreover, by linking the immense human capital of the New York metro area with the manufacturing capacity of the 5th district, an improved rail system connecting the two regions will help make the region an even more attractive place to start and grow a business, creating new jobs in the process.
Transit-oriented development that will bring our downtowns back to life.
At the same time as we make much-needed improvements to commuter and freight rail in the 5th District, it’s critical that we continue to keep a keen eye towards smart growth and transit-oriented development that’s good for the environment – and good for our cities and towns. That’s why during his time in the state legislature, Chris has been a strong supporter of programs like HOME Connecticut and state initiatives like the Responsible Growth Incentive fund that make it easier for municipalities to zone for higher-density, more affordable housing near bus and train stations – creating more liveable, walkable, and bikeable downtowns. Further, Chris will encourage public-private partnerships to pay for transit investments. Improving rail stations, for instance, raise the value of the surrounding real estate; in exchange for federal, state, and local investment dollars, private developers can put up part of the funding, allowing us to afford more improvements right now. Encouraging transit-oriented development will also prevent suburban sprawl and protect the integrity of our rural communities.
Fighting to maximize federal funding to improve our infrastructure.
It’s crucial that we fight for every last available federal dollar to finance upgrades to our roads, rails, ports and bridges. In 2011, more than $520 million is available in the federal TIGER Grant program. It’s important that your representative in Congress have the skills to work with local leaders, state leaders, and Congressional leadership to keep Connecticut competitive in this and other discretionary grant programs. These are smart investments, and are absolutely essential to keeping our roadways safe and keeping good jobs in our state. As your Congressman, Chris will fight day and night to keep this money in the 5th District.