Downtown Hartford has been undergoing a major planning study – the iQuilt plan – since 2008. This plan is centered around three themes: walking, culture and innovation. MTJ Engineering was engaged to design a modern roundabout to replace the old Pulaski traffic circle, located at the center of this downtown revitalization project in the heart of Hartford.
Implementing a roundabout that could better serve drivers while facilitating pedestrians was paramount. MTJ Engineering delivered a design that not only recovers an acre of land for park use, but also creates a safer environment for pedestrians by decreasing vehicle speeds (due to the smaller compact design) and increasing available crosswalks. The current traffic circle restricts pedestrians from crossing the street at one of the entry points. A modern roundabout allows pedestrians to cross any of the entry streets, keeps traffic moving slowly to allow better yielding to pedestrians and provides pedestrian refuge points through medians at each leg, which translates to less time spent in the street where their risk is greater.
Traffic circles are a relic of the past that have long been compared to and mistaken for modern roundabouts. This project demonstrates how proper roundabout design through expert application of engineering principles can improve intersection operations and safety for all modes of transportation. MTJ Engineering is honored to participate in The iQuilt Plan and the redevelopment of this vibrant and innovative downtown district.