Town-Wide Forum on LED Lights, Lighting, Health, Safety, and Science

 

Saturday, September 29th 2:00-4:00 at Hamden High School Room C107, 2040 Dixwell Ave, Hamden

Leading experts will present the current best practice in roadway lighting to protect human health, public safety, ecosystems, and quality of life. The forum will raise awareness about the difference between LED lighting and older, High Pressure Sodium and incandescent light sources, and will address the issues surrounding the upcoming installation of LED streetlights in the town of Hamden.

The panel will include of Professor of Community Medicine and Health Care: Dr. Richard Stevens of UConn, Catherine Diviney; Town of West Hartford Energy Specialist, Leo Smith; member Roadway Lighting Committee (Illuminating Engineering Society), Christina Crowder; International Dark-Sky Association, and on hand to answer specific question regarding regulations and safety; Daniel Kops, Hamden Town Planner and Hamden Police Chief, Thomas Wydra.

Speakers will present the latest information regarding the potential environmental, health, safety and community issues surrounding the upcoming installation of LED street lighting in Hamden and to outdoor lighting in general. In addition, the forum will have guideposts to systems, solutions and goals, that residents of the Town of Hamden should work to achieve.

Panelist will speak to their specialty, have a panel discussion and open the floor to questions.

Sponsored by Hamden Low-K LED Alliance (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CTLowKLED/ ), State Representative Michael D’Agostino, 91st District, Office of Mayor Curt Leng and the Connecticut Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association.

Summer Music at Denicola Park

Our summer music concerts conclude on August 8 with classical music by local youth musicians.  The concert is at Denicola Park on Treadwell Street.  Bring chairs, blankets, food and drink.  Music is from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Lots of room for the kids to play and enjoy the music!

Thanks to our generous sponsors — and local gems — Framed and Wine 101!

 


May 2018 Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2018 Meeting Notes

Welcome.  President Dave Bechtel called the meeting to order at 7:10.  Board members introduced themselves.  Treasurer Deb Maldonado showed everyone new WCA membership cards that can serve as proof of membership to vote at meetings.

Elections.  WCA elections were held for Vice President and Secretary:

  • Connie Matheson was unanimously elected to Vice President.
  • Mark Foran was unanimously elected to Secretary.

Committee Updates.  WCA committee updates included:

  • Library Committee: Connie reported that on April 27 the Books and Booze fundraiser was held. Like last year, the event was a great success, more than 70 in attendance, great involvement of the local merchants in support of a raffle, and most importantly the event raised $2,300 for the library. Last year’s fundraiser funded many great additions to the library including children’s activities, books, films, and learning materials.
  • Music Committee. Jan Kasienko announced that the 5th year of the WCA summer music series will begin in June. June 13 is jazz, July 11 is a singalong, and August 8 is classical. Times are 6-8 pm at Denicola Park on Treadwell Street, and the committee is still working on a rain location. Scott Matheson suggested renting a large tent in case of rain; Janet said that would be considered.

Presentation by Julie Smith, Director of Arts and Culture for Hamden.  Julie Smith introduced herself and said she sees her job as promoting arts as an economic development driver for the town, to entice people and businesses to Hamden as it is a great place to live. She presented the following points:

  • Hamden has a lot of great artists, many phenomenal painters, writers, musicians, etc. The town is trying to create a cultural centerpiece in the town center. The question is how to spread the word not only within Hamden but also regionally.
  • This year’s summer outdoor concerts in town center will focus more on local talent and will have a jazz night for the first time. This year will also feature reggae, disco, and 70s rock.
  • Julie suggested that the WCA and other groups send information on neighborhood events like the Summer Music Concerts to her and she will promote them.

Presentation by Mark Austin, Hamden Town Engineer.  Mark Austin talked about the proposals for Mather and Waite Street bridge redesign. In the past the proposed project was criticized for being inappropriate for the neighborhood, and the town lost the grant money that would have funded it. This year that same grant pool was not funded by the state, but it will take three years for design and approval, so the town is starting the input process now in hopes of qualifying for grants in future and having citizen support moving forward.

Using a response poll requesting opinions and ideas for the project, Mark said he has already received a lot of responses from the public indicating what they want to see in this project. Anyone can respond; the link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3NJ867X. Currently, responses are 50-50 from Spring Garden and Whitneyville.

Mark opened up the floor for input.  Questions and suggestions included the following:

  • The previous plan was to widen the bridge for truck traffic. Is that the plan this time? Mark’s response: To get funding outside of the local government, projects must provide for access to trucks.
  • Given the age and condition of the bridges, the best course is to close both structures at the same time during construction. Also, it is key that the town ensure there is not diminished water capacity in the neighborhood. Mark’s response: Ensuring water capacity is required and standard in any project of this nature.
  • Will there be sidewalks? Mark’s response: The current conceptual plan shows sidewalks from both the north and south that will be connected to newly built sidewalk extensions on Waite and Mather.
  • Will there be a stop sign on Mather at Waite? Is this an opportunity to add one between Dixwell and Whitney to slow down traffic, because this is something the residents of Mather feel strongly about. Mark noted that as a suggestion,
  • The town can put lights on the bridges, not huge cobra lights but pedestrian sized lighting.
  • The ongoing challenge to solving traffic issues is that Mather is viewed as a pass-through, and Whitney is a state road, and the neighborhood as a result loses walkability. Mark’s response: There are limited east-west through streets in this area of Hamden, but there is discussion at the state level of turning roads like Whitney into local roads — and in fact that has long been a state recommendation — but the state ignores their own recommendations.
  • Cheshire has a stoplight pedestrians can press to stop traffic just for pedestrians. Mark’s response: There are two different ways to accomplish this, but he is not sure which mechanism would work.
  • The town should widen the bridge but not the road! Mark’s response: The roads can stay narrow, and will be required to have guard rails.
  • What will be the aesthetics of the projects? Mark’s response: Stone or faux stone can be used to improve the look of the project.
  • One concern is the rise of the road on Mather as it approaches Dixwell due to speeding. The road there is already raised enough. Mark’s response: He has a concern about the aesthetics of that idea, and suggested that the rise creates a separation between the industrial nature of Dixwell and the Whitneyville neighborhood.
  • Is the town trying to modify poor driver behavior? Can the police increase their enforcement of traffic laws? Wouldn’t that be more cost effective? Can stop signs help slow down speeders? Mark’s response: The Hamden police have been stepping up their enforcement. Another way to slow traffic and increase safety is to construct a three-way stop at the Waite-Mather intersection. That would slow down traffic as would a circle in that location.

Mark also announced that Hamden received a $2.8 million grant for various sidewalk improvements including Davis Street and Treadwell Street to the bike trail. He also noted the schedules for replacing sidewalks in Hamden, which unfortunately has a very long list of streets.  One person asked about Caroline Street, which needs serious help.  Mark stated that repairs are prioritized by when the complaint is received by the town. They are placed on a to-do list and handled sequentially. The only way around that system is when a street poses an imminent danger from an engineering perspective. Caroline Street is on the to-do list. To get a street on the list, go to Hamden.com and find the link to the street complaint app.

New Business.  Dave asked participants if they had any new business.  One participant noted the recent incident at the Children’s Center; he had expected this to be a topic of tonight’s meeting.  Dave acknowledged that citizens were concerned about recent events connected to the Children’s Center, and brought up the idea of a community discussion of the issue. He said the subject was not on the agenda tonight (the speakers had been engaged prior to the incident), but the WCA will be working on setting up a meeting that approaches the ongoing issues with a broader perspective.  There was a recent meeting between several residents, the Children’s Center and the Hamden Police which could serve as a model.

Other participants suggested trimming trees along Putnam Street (they can submit request via See-Click-Fix at http://www.hamden.com/seeclickfix), and supporting a neighborhood clean-up.  The WCA had sponsored clean-up days in past years but had low participation.

Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:50.

Letter Endorsing Mill River Project

April 28, 2018

Gwen Macdonald, Director of Habitat Resources
Save the Sound
900 Chapel Street, Suite 2302
New Haven, CT 06510

Dear Ms. Macdonald,

Pleased by advised that the Board of the Whitneyville Civic Association supports the proposed Mill River Watershed Stormwater Mitigation, Habit Enhancement, and Public Education Project sponsored by the Town of Hamden.

As a community located downstream of the proposed project, we appreciate the positive impact that it will have on water quality within the Mill River watershed.  And as residents of the Town of Hamden, we welcome the educational and passive recreational benefits that will accrue as well.

Furthermore, we believe that the project is in keeping with the goals and objectives that have been expressed in the initial phase of the Mill River Watershed Plan currently under development by Save the Sound.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have with regard to our support of this project.

Sincerely,

David Bechtel
President

Cc: Connie Matheson, Debra Maldonado, Deirdre Dolan, Janet Kazienko, Liz Hellwig, Michael Ross, and Mark Foran
Nicole Davis, Save the Sound
Dan Kops, Town of Hamden

May 17 Annual Meeting Announcement

The Whitneyville Civic Association Annual Meeting is on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Hamden Board of Education, 60 Putnam Avenue.  (Parking is available in the lot behind the building.)

The meeting will feature:

  • Julie Smith, Hamden Arts Commission, Summer Events in Hamden
  • Mark Austin, Town Engineer, Plan for the Mather & Waite Street Bridges
  • Officer Elections
  • Committee Updates – More Summer Music!
  • New Business

Hope to see you there!