As discussed in the land use strategy, this plan calls for a regional transportation center/hub in downtown Middletown. As the downtown evolves towards its “Vision Statement,” more and more employees, visitors and tourists will be coming to the downtown and more residents of the downtown will be commuting to other employment centers. All agree the State of Connecticut must move towards alternate modes of transportation.
Middletown’s downtown is ideally situated to be a transportation hub. The downtown is centrally located and has direct access to interstate highways, rail corridors and the Connecticut River.
Potential exists for barge and passenger boats to the north and south. Potential exists for light rail commuter access to Old Saybrook, Hartford and Bradley Airport via the Griffin line and the New Haven and New York commuter line. Potential exists for a bus/trolley terminal to service the downtown and the entire community and region.
There is also a need to establish a reliable mode of mass transportation within the downtown. It is felt that a reliable and aggressively promoted loop between major employers, residential areas, Wesleyan University and downtown shopping areas and restaurants would be heavily utilized.
This plan identifies the area north of Rapallo Avenue as the site for a future transportation center. This site is the site of the former railroad station and is currently a rail yard.
This plan envisions this transportation center attracting more people to the area and thus acting as a stimulus to future investment in the area. Any transportation center at this site must be at a scale and design compatible to the surrounding neighborhood.
Due to the far reaching benefits of such a regional transportation center and its focus on alternate modes of transportation, the City and Midstate Regional Planning Agency should aggressively pursue expanded rail service first to the north then to the south and federal transportation funding through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.