Lafayette Circle Final Report November 2013
Lafayette Boulevard Realignment
A downtown gateway welcoming to pedestrians, drivers, transit users & cyclists.
Proposed Realignment - 2016
Lafayette Circle is the gateway to downtown Bridgeport from Route 8/25. Built in the 1960s as part of a larger urban renewal project, the Lafayette Circle area is uninviting and does not convey a sense of entry into a vibrant downtown. Due to the existing configuration of the circle, traffic patterns are confusing to drivers and compromises both vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The existing streetscape lacks street trees, sidewalks and crosswalks. Wide expanses of asphalt pavement, weaving lanes, excessive roadway interruptions, numerous undeveloped lots and lack of pedestrian activity detract from both the sidewalk and roadway environment.
Gateways define the edges of and entryways into a city. A gateway should convey a sense of the city’s identity and provide wayfinding information to visitors. Lafayette Circle is prime for redevelopment as a true gateway to downtown Bridgeport that welcomes drivers, transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists.
To enhance the movement of traffic to and from Route 8/25 and improve access to downtown Bridgeport, Lafayette Boulevard will be reconfigured as a traditional boulevard so as to intersect directly with Fairfield Avenue. The traffic circle will shrink to support the roadway realignment and to better accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and transit. Complete streets elements will include street trees, wide sidewalks and pedestrian amenities. A centered landscaped median will serve as a welcoming and informative gateway to downtown visitors. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, the median will include a subsurface stormwater infiltration system to reduce stormwater runoff and will provide a refuge to pedestrians between crosswalks.
Lafayette Boulevard Relaignment Summary Sheet | April, 2016
Lafayette Circle Study - 2013
The land inside the circle is occupied by a small office building, but the majority of the site is vacant or paved as a parking lot for the office building. The parcel to the east of the circle is being redeveloped as the Bijou Square project. To the west, there are additional parking lots and the former SNET building (currently underutilized). The land to the south of the circle is fully occupied by the RBS building on the east side of Lafayette Boulevard and the Connecticut Post building on the west side.
The existing configuration of the circle substantially constrains the potential for redevelopment. Elimination of the circle and realignment and extension of Lafayette Boulevard directly to Fairfield Avenue will make the area more attractive and marketable to prospective developers. The POCD, Downtown Master Plan and the BGreen 2020 plan all recommend the elimination of Lafayette Circle and realignment of Lafayette Boulevard to foster and realize economic revitalization of the north end of Lafayette Boulevard. The concept is identified as a critical project in city’s efforts to realize this area of the downtown.