June 22, 2009

BDA KO's intersection overhaul on Federal Hill

Five months after backing the possible realignment of High and Summer streets, city development officials opted Monday to abandon the proposal.
“It’s a fine idea,” said Jonathan Rosenthal, the city’s economic development director, but there’s no money to buy the necessary property.
“It’s not going further,” he said.
The Bristol Development Authority, which agreed in February to pay $29,250 to Beta Group, a design firm, to work up a plan for fixing up the troubled intersection, unanimously killed the project.
About $20,000 is left in the account following survey work, officials said. That money will be used to bolster the more than $1 million Main Street streetscape project
Rosenthal said the survey work will be helpful in the future so the money spent wasn’t squandered.
The streetscape project is slated to get underway during the fiscal year that begins July 1. It aims to revamp the appearance of Main Street between Riverside Avenue and the top of the hill so that it will roughly match the 2005 North Main Street overhaul.
Officials had hoped to buy at least one of the decrepit apartments at the corner of High and Summer, raze it and straighten out the juncture.
Rosenthal said that because there is no prospect of the city having the cash to purchase the building, demolish it and do the project, it made sense to kill it.
The project has the backing of business and neighborhood groups. The only opposition initially came from city Councilor Craig Minor, who called it “a waste of money” that should be used for more pressing issues.
Rosenthal and other city leaders said that until the project design was done, the city wouldn’t even know how much the realigned intersection would cost.
City officials have long eyed the possibility of razing some of the aging apartments on the west side of Main Street near the library because they have no parking and are so beaten up that they hold little attraction for the young urban professionals the city would like to attract downtown.
The Main Street streetscape, which has funding, would include trees, benches and other pedestrian-friendly improvements.The initial plan includes small plazas, traffic calming measures along the roadway, new sidewalks, distinctive crosswalks and other features similar to what’s been done on North Main Street.
Officials hope that improving the streetscape will lead to more commercial activity and a safer, friendlier environment for residents, a key element for pumping life into the city’s troubled downtown.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Rosenthal strikes(out) again!

Take the amount he wasted out of his salary.

Anonymous said...

I understand this project getting killed because of the economy but how come so many other less worthy projects are, shall we say, "moving forward" when there is no need for them either? Who controls this list?

Anonymous said...

Who does Rosenthal report to?

He should have his head.

Anonymous said...

A Million for Main street, I hope they clean up the crack heads and heroin addicts all around there. Lower Summer St. is a real S-hole again. Tear down the ghetto apartments and houses to really clean up the hood.

Anonymous said...

Why not check to see if there was any money BEFORE big bucks are spent on a consultant?

We were already in trouble back in January.

Anonymous said...

I understand the economy thing and all, but it's such a shame. Here we have a golden opportunity to get rid of those horrible tenements so that when the development of the 17 acres begin, we can actually have the whole area developed properly. Now who knows what will become of those buildings when time for development comes around.

Some slum landlord will probably show up, buy the place and fill it with non-taxpaying citizens who couldn't care less what their neighborhood looks like or have one iota of interest in taking care of it as has been the case for way too long.

run rabbit run! said...

That's nice. They're turning Federal Hill into "the mixmaster". With the new 72 almost done, it'll need that.

How about addressing the speeders and the increased traffic?

Anonymous said...

To the City Council members: When are you going to take action against this waste of a salary, Jonathan Rosenthal. He has no foresight as far as a Development Authority employee and has never had the best interest of the City of Bristol. In addition, will someone please take a look at the makeup of the BDA board. There are definitely some very weak hitters sitting on that board. They do nothing and rubber-stamp everything Rosenthal says. You know who they are. Not an original idea from that board as well. Rosenthal is very eager to spend, spend, spend and by the time all is said and done, Bristol will be a mish mash of buildings, streetscapes and plazas with no thread of continuity as to its character. PLEASE . . . someone get rid of him!

Anonymous said...

This is one of those projects that would have been nice to do if the financial climate was different, however, I don't think realigning these two streets would be a priority on anyone's list, except certain individuals on Federal Hill. I'm not so sure the issue is about connecting streets as much as it is about relocating certain ethnic classes of individuals off Federal Hill who may or may not have the same value system in place as the Feds. I think as a community, we have to be careful and forever cautious about projects designed to do one thing, but really accomplish something quite different. These buildings do not need to come down and this intersection does not have to be aligned. The so called problems never really go away, they just get relocated to a different part of the city i.e. the West End. Residents of Federal Hill need to learn to live with all people from different socio-economic and diverse backgrounds. This entire project was a hoax and misleading from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

10:54 poster,

Ward was the deciding vote to keep or get rid of Rosenthal last year. He voted to keep him. Now we are all paying for his mess.

This is what happens when you have Department Heads raising money for you.

Ward...moving Bristol Back-Wards

Anonymous said...

11:29 poster,

"Residents of Federal Hill need to learn to live with all people from different socio-economic and diverse backgrounds"

Don't you mean Residents need to learn to live with Drug Dealers and Drug users. Good to see my hard earned tax dollars at work.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Art Ward

Anonymous said...

Bristol is a social services dumping ground.

Residents of Avon or Simsbury don't have these miscreant-related problems.

Bristol desperately needs new governmental leadership and a competent chief of police pronto!

It's not too late to reinvent this city if the will of the people can be organized around a transformative visionary like we have in the White House!

Anonymous said...


Stortz knew what had to be done; too bad Ward and Nicastro were opposed.

Shows what happens when city employees get involved in the political process.

Odin said...

Ward did the responsible thing. If you fire a union employee without sufficient cause (and screwing up a few times is not sufficient cause), the odds are good that the Labor Board will make you take him back AND give him the back pay! It may have played well for the bread and circuses crowd, but in the long run it was not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

It was "urban renewal" for the 21st century, and we know how successful urban renewal was last century.

Anonymous said...

Why should I learn to live with them, shouldn't they learn to live with the rest of us who pay taxes, work to support ourselves. I don't care what socio-economic background you come from as long as you respect your neighbors and follow the laws and rules of decent people.

Anonymous said...


Not reappointing is not the same as firing.

Maybe Ward doesn't understand that either.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

And yet we should somehow stereotype all people who live in these neighborhood's as drug dealing, drug using deviants to society.

As if the nice people in the quiet suburban enclaves of Bristol never deal or use drugs. EVER!

We're not Avon or Simsbury. And thinking those places are somehow better than Bristol only reveals the truth about how stereotypical and sociopathic you all are.

Not mine said...

Here we have a golden opportunity to get rid of those horrible tenements so that when the development of the 17 acres begin


Please pay attention to YOUR president . He wants the commuter rails running again , and LOTS and LOTS of those 'horrible tenements' right along the rail lines so you will no longer need a car to travel .

* some folks think it may have been a mistake letting him visit europe .

Obama Rocks! said...

@ June 23, 2009 7:02 PM

What the hell? "letting him go visit europe" ? Are you for real? Who could have stopped Mr. Obama, the duly elected President of the United States of America?


Mush (brain) Limbaugh?

Sarah Palin?

Dick Cheney?

Keep stating your opinions, weirdo, they make no sense at all! And you should speak out in public as soon as possible, a lot! Regurgitate your absurdities in great quantities, especially before every election. You and your ilk are your own worst enemy!

Anonymous said...

Aligning the intersection was and is meaningless.
The intent was to tear down a building or two.
The city didn't need a consultant for that.
Again, Rosenthal and the city just wasted taxpayer dollars.

When will something be done about it??????

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Not Mine...Obama's doing a horrible job!

Anonymous said...

Do you automatically get a free lunch, or two, when you meet with a consultant?

Odin said...

June 23, 2009 6:10 PM:

There is no legal difference between "firing" and "not reappointing" a union employee. If you think there is, you obviously have no experience in labor law. Even the Personnel Director, who is an "at will" employee, has to be "not reappointed" in accordance with the town charter or they get their job back (e.g. the current Personnel Director's predecessor).

Anonymous said...


Suggest you take a few minutes and check with the Personnel Director or a Labor Lawyer.

I did!

Anonymous said...

So how far in the hole did the city and the board of education go for the end of the fiscal year?