VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Statement regarding traffic issues at West Haven campus
June 10, 2016
Traffic Issues at the West Haven Campus
June 10, 2016
VA Connecticut Healthcare System – Statement
The safety of our Veterans, visitors and staff and the ease of access to VA care is a top priority for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. One of our highest priorities is traffic safety.
In 2014, the VA Connecticut leadership team contracted with Ron Muller & Associates Traffic Engineering and Consulting Services to make recommendations for measures to increase pedestrian and vehicular safety and capacity. The final report, dated September 21, 2014, stated that “recommendations are made specific to individual intersections and can therefore be implemented independent of one another, depending on the availability of funds.”
The report highlighted that “Significant improvements have been made to the intersection by the VA hospital. These include replacing the former diagonal crosswalk with standard crosswalks across all legs of the intersection, installing new sidewalks with wheelchair accessible ramps in all four corners, installing new stop signs on all approaches with flashing LED lights to accentuate the traffic control, and providing safety officer control of the intersection during peak traffic hours.”
The long-term solution to traffic and parking issues at the West Haven campus is the construction of a multi-level parking garage with an enclosed elevated pedestrian walkway. This would alleviate pedestrian traffic to/from the main parking lot. VA Connecticut has made funding requests to construct this project as we recognize that this is one of our highest priority needs. The project is currently awaiting approval at the national level.
VA Connecticut looks forward to the continued support of our congressional delegation as we work to make improvements to our facilities statewide to better serve our Veterans.
Approximately 5,000 vehicles travel to the campus on any given weekday. In fiscal year 2015, there were more than 480,000 outpatient visits to the campus.
To clarify, in the most recent incident in May 2016, it was a case of operator negligence. The driver was ticketed by the city of West Haven for running the stop sign.
To reduce the volume of vehicles through all intersections and roadways on campus, VA Connecticut has:
o Contracted with two off-site parking lot locations near campus (Mantilla Lot and the Polish American Club).
o Hired six full-time parking attendants to help direct traffic on campus. VA Police officers direct traffic during peak morning and evening hours.
o Encouraged employee use of the federal Transit Benefit Program which subsidizes a portion of commuting costs on public transportation and commercial vanpools.
o Provides shuttle service to both off-site parking lots and nearby West Haven commuter rail train station.
o Instituted valet parking for Veterans at the main entrance to the medical center.
o Submitted multiple packages to VA headquarters for a parking garage project (since 2009).
o VA Connecticut initiated a land transfer process to acquire abutting property from the City of West Haven for the construction of a new, 160 spot surface parking lot. Once the transfer is complete, the project will commence and add 160 close-proximity spots to the campus which will significantly reduce volume at the 4-way intersection in question.
· We are collaborating with the City of West Haven to create an alternate exit from the West Haven campus parking lot to another part of the community - to decrease the volume of vehicles.