Branford RR Station Is Path for Development
One of the big things people learned at the public sessions on Branford’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan is that there is plenty of room to grow right at the center of the plan – the Shoreline East Train station.
The town is currently studying potential future development opportunities within a half-mile radius of the train site location – but during a close to two-hour presentation by consultants those in the audience learned that the train station itself is currently underutilized.
The consultants said they surveyed use of the train station site on a recent day, and that only about 25 percent of the 465 parking spaces were occupied.
The consultants termed that as a station that is being “fairly underutilized,” adding that part of the problem is that train commuting is still a relatively new concept for Connecticut.
Commuting patterns haven’t been established in Connecticut yet, the consultants said, noting that Shoreline East is only a decade old.
“Basically we’re a suburban state,” was what those in the audience were told, though the consultants said if bigger cites, such as Stamford, continue to grow as job centers that could change over time.
Redevelopment opportunities back to top
The Town of Branford is conducting a study of potential redevelopment opportunities in the area around the Branford Shoreline East Train Station.
Called Transit Oriented Development (TOD), this is development that benefits from proximity to transit services.
It includes and would build upon, existing and proposed projects such as Atlantic Wharf, Anchor Reef, and the Stony Creek Brewery. The Branford Station TOD Plan being developed will be an integral part of a Town and regional initiative to promote growth and redevelopment that is more transit oriented, will increase the tax base, and will provide uses better suited to the current local and regional economy, said town officials in a news release.
The study will also focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle access and walk ability, with the goal being to improve linkages between the Town Center, Branford Station and the waterfront.
Community outreach is a critical component of the Plan to ensure the vision for future development meets local needs, said Town Planner Harry A. Smith in a news release.
The Branford Station TOD Plan development will provide a host of opportunities for public input including two public workshops, a survey, and stakeholder interviews and focus groups.
This outreach for public input will help to define a set of realistic and publicly supported development goals and objectives for the area. The study is supported by technical planning and market professionals so as to develop realistic development alternatives that consider potential impacts and/or constraints, parking, traffic, infrastructure, and other potential impacts on community facilities and services. The study will also identify issues that may require further study.
The Plan is also proceeding concurrently with an update to the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).