Gov. Ned Lamont’s $21B transportation plan would increase capacity on the state’s highways, but critics say that can lead to more gridlock

Gov. Ned Lamont is touting his sweeping $21 billion proposal to overhaul the state’s transportation system as a “10-year, responsibly-funded and financed vision of the future ... that Connecticut residents deserve.”

But some critics say the plan — which allocates $14 billion to road and bridge improvements and $6.2 billion to railroad projects but just $450 million to enhancing bus service and earmarks even less for sidewalks and bicycles — falls far short.

“A highway-heavy proposal that focuses on road expansion ... is really a missed opportunity,” said Melissa Kaplan-Macey, vice president of state programs at the Regional Plan Association, a research and advocacy group devoted to sustainability and improving the quality of life in the tri-state area. “Highway projects will create more congestion in the long run if we aren’t managing demand.”

Critics say Lamont’s plan does not lay out such strategies. “Right now, there is no incentive to not drive in Connecticut, other than to be stuck in traffic, which really isn’t an incentive because there’s no alternative,” said Kaplan-Macey, the vice president at the Regional Plan Association. “We need to manage the choices people are making and encourage people to travel together.”

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