On August 6, New Haven's Board of Aldermen gave final approval to a major project that will remove highway 34, and replace the open land with biotech and medical facilities. It will also open up a part of the city that has been closed off to downtown by the highway since the 1950s.
The project has had its critics, notably pedestrian and bike advocates. Bike advocacy group Elm City Cycling had been in support of the project, called Downtown Crossing, that is, until the afternoon of August 6, when they officially withdrew their support.
Mark Abraham, spokesman for Elm City Cycling, talked about the project and why the group withdrew its support. "Basically, part of the existing highway is being taken out. That traffic's being moved up to the surface streets, which are the city streets that we use every day," Abraham said. "Essentially, they're taking the highway and building a higher-traffic local road. As it's currently designed, it doesn't make the changes that we sought to improve safety on the roads for all the drivers and the road users there."