7:46 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Car Ignition Lock Use Tripled in a Year in Connecticut

Use of ignition interlock devices has tripled since a state law took effect in 2012 requiring first-time DUI offenders to have the device installed. The Day reports that nearly 2,700 people in the state currently use such a device in their cars. The device is wired to the car's ignition and requires a breath sample before the car will start. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing for the device for all convicted drunken drivers and intends to reintroduce state legislation at the 2014 legislative session.
Publication: The Day Norwich - Jacqueline Caron of Norwich has spent months perfecting the proper steps needed to start her car. On one recent afternoon, the 52-year-old planted herself in the driver's seat, inhaled deeply, pursed her lips and exhaled into a tube while humming a tone reminiscent of a prolonged "whooo."
Where We Live
10:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

John DeSimone, Modern Tire
Chion Wolf

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Capital City Cars
2:45 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Segarra Aims To Reduce Number of City Cars

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra on Where We Live.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said his administration has been discussing a reduction in the city's car fleet since last year, before two illegal incidents involving city employees and city-owned cars. During a panel discussion on Where We Live in downtown Hartford, Segarra framed the discussion largely as a fiscal one.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:03 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Bikes, Trains, and Automobiles

Jim Travers on Thursday unveiled a new bike corral in New Haven.
Credit Melissa Bailey /

You may have noticed this morning that I-84 near the Connecticut-New York border will be shut down temporarily this weekend, while a bridge is repaired. That got us thinking at The Wheelhouse Digest about other ways to get around. What you need to know now is a little bit of transportation news from around the state.

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9:07 am
Fri September 20, 2013

I-84 West Shuts Down This Weekend Near NY Border

Repairs to Middletown's Arrigoni Bridge were completed in October, 2012.
Dan Saksa Flickr Creative Commons

If you plan to take I-84 West over the New York border this weekend, you might want to think again.

Westbound lanes of Interstate 84 along the Connecticut-New York line will be closed as workers replace a two-lane bridge.

The New York state Department of Transportation will install a prefabricated bridge near Southeast, N.Y., in just 18 hours. The procedure will be repeated for the other direction of the bridge in October.

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Teen Driver Laws
5:03 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Should Connecticut's Teen Driver Laws Be More Restrictive?

Credit Liftarn / Wikimedia Commons

New restrictions on teen drivers in other states, like New Jersey, are provoking debate in Connecticut, where tightened laws appear to have had a positive effect. In 2008, driving laws changed in response to a spate of crashes.

The laws prevented new drivers from carrying passengers, enforced a tough curfew, and mandated parent and teen instruction.

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Where We Live
10:38 am
Tue September 17, 2013

The Dangers of Driving in the Teenage Years

Tim Hollister, environmental and land use lawyer and author
Chion Wolf

After a series of fatal accidents a few years ago, Connecticut passed distracted driving laws aimed at keeping teen drivers safe. Since the first kid got behind the wheel of a car, it’s been a challenge for parents and law enforcement.

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4:56 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Traffic Radar And Its Connecticut Roots

Credit Greg Dolittle / Creative Commons

We've all had the experience of cruising along the highway only to come upon a police cruiser nestled behind some trees with the officer holding a radar gun. Even if you're driving the speed limit, your first reaction may be to slam on the brakes.

That technology is about 70 years old, and got its start right here in Connecticut.

Pagan Kennedy recently wrote about the origins of traffic radar in the The New York Times Magazine.

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6:17 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Teen Drivers and Passengers Don't Mix

Teens behind the wheel, is it a moment all parents dread?
Credit Courtesy of Flickr CC by State Farm

This summer saw several deadly crashes involving young drivers with passengers in the car.  The latest was a crash in Hartford in August where two teens were killed. In 2008, a series of fatal accidents involving teens  spurred state lawmakers and the DMV to tighten teen driving laws. Now, the DMV is partnering with the Injury Prevention Center at CT Children's Medical Center to raise awareness about passenger safety.


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1:59 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Hartford Wants to Improve Downtown Traffic

If you've ever gotten stuck in traffic in downtown Hartford, you'll like this story. The city is applying for a grant that will allow it to upgrade traffic signals in the central business district. The plan is to reduce congestion.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:30 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, and More Available

Flickr Creative Commons, taberandrew

Some of you may actually be in moving cars right now, listening to this show, but the average automobile spends 95 percent of its life parked somewhere. 

Your car might be parked at work for a while, and that big employee parking lot uses up a lot of valuable space and throws off a lot of heat on summer days.

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Behind the Taxes
11:16 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The Truth Behind Connecticut's Gas Prices

This is a three-part series. 

Part 1

Ever wonder why gas prices are so high in Connecticut? A lot of it has to do with state gas taxes very few people know about – taxes that are about to undergo a steep increase. 

So, last week I paid $3.79 per gallon of gas at a North Haven gas station. This made me angry. And I asked my fellow gas-guzzlers – who’s to blame?

“I can’t determine what’s going on or what’s causing it," said one customer.

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3:37 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Americans' Driving Habits are Shifting

Last Friday’s train crash showed the need for more investment in mass transit in Connecticut. In addition, new data reveals that Americans’ driving habits are changing, especially among younger people. Transportation advocates say it’s time for planners and governments to change their priorities.

As bad as the traffic may be on your way to work, Abe Scarr has some news for you.

“The driving boom is over.”

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A New Generation
3:37 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Americans' driving habits are shifting

Read more in the Connecticut Mirror at

Last Friday’s train crash showed the need for more investment in mass transit in Connecticut. In addition, new data reveals that Americans’ driving habits are changing, especially among younger people. Transportation advocates say it’s time for planners and governments to change their priorities.

As bad as the traffic may be on your way to work, Abe Scarr has some news for you.

“The driving boom is over.”

Read more
3:31 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Monday's Commute: Carmageddon Avoided

Metro-North railroad has announced it will restore full service to the New Haven line on Wednesday. While many commuters heeded pleas to avoid rush hour travel on Monday, some didn’t have a choice or decided to brave it anyway -- including me. 

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Where We Live
11:11 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Where We Drive: Chain Stores, Strip Malls and Sprawl

John Dankosky

Why is it that Americans are so fiercely individualistic, so protective of their rights to be “different," yet we all shop at the same few stores with the same products, in places that look the same?

If you’ve got a morning commute down a commercial thoroughfare, just look many Dunkin’ Donuts do you pass? How many Walgreens or Subways? How did we get to a place where chain retail sprawl has become the norm?

Today, the Hartford Courant’s Tom Condon, a student of sprawl, joins me for a trip down Route 44. It’s part of my commute every day.

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4:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Small Towns Speak Out Against Malloy's Car Tax Plan

Small town leaders from across the state were at the state capitol today. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, they were there to push back against one of Governor Dannel Malloy's budget proposals -- the elimination of some car taxes.

Malloy wants to eliminate the property tax for cars worth less than $28,000. He says it will provide middle class tax relief and that it will curtail the "most hated and regressive tax in the state." John Elsesser doesn't like the tax, either. He's the town manager for Coventry.

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1:02 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Snow and Politics Create a Wintry Mix in Bridgeport, New Haven

Dru Nadler

When the city threatened to tow all the cars on my street after the blizzard, I went into full-on panic mode. I paid a guy with a snow plow thirty bucks to dig out my car. And there was such a huge mound of snow between my roommate’s car and the road, that we actually drove it onto the sidewalk to get it off the street. And then the city never delivered. We live in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven. We’re not alone.

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9:43 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Digging Out After The Storm

Neena Satija

After this weekend’s historic blizzard, it’s still slow going in much of New Haven County. Crews continue working day and night in New Haven to clear and widen the streets. Their main concern is figuring out what to do with all the snow.

 Rich Solomon’s been here since 6:45 this morning. He’s in downtown New Haven driving a Volvo dump truck to haul snow off the city streets. Right now his truck is empty, but it’s about to be filled by a payloader with 20 tons of snow. It’s a pretty quick process.

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2:19 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

30 years later, is Connecticut ready to reinstate tolls?

A New Haven legislator plans to introduce a bill that would reinstate tolls in Connecticut. While that could help pay for badly-needed transportation fixes, it’s a complicated proposition.

It’s been almost exactly 30 years since a tractor-trailer plowed into cars waiting at a Stratford toll barrier, killing 7 people. The January 1983 crash prompted Connecticut legislators to begin phasing out tolls in the state – and they’ve been banned ever since. But if some lawmakers have their way, that could change soon.

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Rant and Rail
11:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

The Thanksgiving Commute

42 million people drove to visit family and friends during Thanksgiving weekend. WNPR’s Neena Satija joined them this year, but before leaving, she paid a visit to the state department of transportation to get the insider’s guide to holiday traffic. 

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Stamford Parking
10:26 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The DOT's $35 Million Secret...Shhh, It's a Parking Garage

Commuters will have a chance to weigh in on state plans to rebuild a parking garage at the Stamford train station tonight. But since the names of potential developers and their plans will be kept a secret, no one’s sure what they’ll be able to weigh in on. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Plugging In: Electric Vehicles in Connecticut

evgonetwork, creative commons

Yesterday was “National Plug In Day,” a celebration of the environmental and economic benefits of electric cars.

At CCSU, 100 people gathered with only 15 electric vehicles. You might think that by now, there should be hundreds - or thousands - of electric cars in Connecticut.  But there are only 98 registered in the whole state. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:22 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Chicks and Cars: Women And Wrenches, Not Wenches

Flickr Creative Commons, Library of Congress

Women do everything now, but not many of them do the auto mechanic thing. When was the last time you saw a woman handling sales in an auto dealership? On the repair side, the job keeps changing to place greater reliance on smarts and diagnosis, with less emphasis on brawn. That doesn't mean you don't have to take a wheel off sometimes, but fixing a car can very easily be women's work.

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Where We Live
10:25 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Paved Paradise

Picabu (Wikimedia Commons)

Picture a parking lot....what comes to mind? A sea of asphalt, white lines, birds pecking at discarded food. Don’t forget the stray shopping carts, bright lighting at night, and blinding glare by day. Not the most pleasant place.

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10:27 am
Mon August 22, 2011

Border Toll Outrage

Photo by Rachel Haller (Flickr)

Rhode Island is considering placing tolls on I-95 near the Connecticut border. Joining us by phone to discuss the potential impact to Connecticut is North Stonington State Representative Diana Urban.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:38 pm
Wed June 1, 2011


Taking the Next Step Toward Business
1:03 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Is Connecticut Really Open For Business?

Harriet Jones

Governor Malloy has declared the state of Connecticut open for business. But many small businesses find when they come in contact with state government, their first experience is frustration. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at just how well the state is doing in streamlining its approach to business.

This is Larry’s Auto Power in Groton, and that’s a race car engine on the test block.

“We do street performance engine rebuilding, racecar engine building.”

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Plug My Ride
7:47 am
Thu May 5, 2011

Electric Cars Power Up

JM Rosenfeld, Creative Commons

Earlier this week Connecticut Light & Power Co launched the "Plug My Ride'' campaign to increase awareness of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state.  This also kicked off a research project that aims to understand how an influx of electric vehicles in the near future will affect the region's power grid.   

We spoke with Watson Collins, the electric vehicles project manager for parent company Northeast Utilities, about the company's plans to install up to 30 charging stations by the end of the year.

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New Haven
4:41 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Human Traffic Signals

Uma Ramiah photo

For at least 20 minutes on Friday evening, no one ran a red light at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets downtown.

It may have been all those human red lights, on a mission.

“We’re here because we’ve noticed a problem in New Haven, where drivers run red lights pretty frequently,” said Juli Stupakevich (pictured), who organized a “Red Means Stop” protest at that intersection. “Red just doesn’t mean stop anymore.”

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