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Photo of Senator Terry Gerratana.

STATE SENATOR

Terry Gerratana

Healthy Families, Healthy Communities

New Britain YWCA Opens East Side Center

Senator Gerratana

I was excited to attend the opening ceremony of the East Side Center of the YWCA. The Center provides programs for teenagers, transition sessions for those going to high school, summer jobs connections, and more.
 

New Haven to Hartford Rail Line Opens

Last week, I joined dozens of federal, state, and local officials and Connecticut commuters to officially launch the CTrail Hartford Line for service. The passenger rail line, which has multiple stations in Central Connecticut along the I-91 corridor connecting New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, is the first passenger rail line to open for service in Connecticut since 1990.

This is great news for New Haven area commuters. Providing convenient, affordable and reliable mass transportation is essential to Connecticut’s economic future.

Senator Gerratana.

The new CTrail Hartford Line extends many benefits to Connecticut, including:

  • Millions of dollars in transit-oriented development
  • An annual reduction of some 1.5 million vehicles from the I-91 corridor
  • A reduction of vehicle miles driven of more than 100 million miles annually
  • A savings of more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel annually
  • Estimated annual passenger trips of 700,000
  • Estimated construction and related jobs of 13,000

The CTrail Hartford Line began regular operations on Monday, June 18, with trains running approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods. The expanded service will be in addition to the existing Amtrak service in the corridor, and trains will reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.

Stations along the line from north to south include New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Springfield. Trains will run approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods.

The line utilizes 27 miles of new double-track along previously existing single-track sections, allowing more frequent trains to travel through the corridor. Additionally, new train stations were built in Wallingford, Meriden, and Berlin, and high-level platforms and other upgrades have been made at the Hartford and New Haven State Street stations.

Fares along the line vary depending on place of origin and destination. The fare between New Haven and Hartford is just $8.

For information about the CTrail Hartford Line, visit www.hartfordline.com, connect via Facebook, through Twitter at @hartfordline, or through Instagram @hartfordlinect.
 

Summer Safety Tips

Now that school’s out, parents and students from kindergarten through high school should step-up their safety protocols to deal with a variety of summer-specific challenges.

Summer
  • There’s an old saying that “A bouncing ball is usually followed by a child.” Watch for balls and toys that appear suddenly in the roadway – a child may quickly chase after them without checking both ways for traffic. To help protect your kids who are playing in the driveway, you may want to park your car on the street across the bottom of your driveway, or place bright orange traffic cones near your driveway to alert oncoming drivers to the presence of children playing.
  • Don’t allow your children to walk or cross streets while distracted by a cell phone or listening to music through headphones. Having a phone out or listening to music drastically lowers your sense of awareness, so turn off the music or pause the phone conversation while crossing the street to make sure you and/or your child is properly keeping an eye (and an ear!) out for cars.
  • Also watch out for vehicles backing out of a driveway or in a shopping mall parking lot. It’s difficult for drivers to see directly behind them, even with today’s back-up cameras, so watch for the white back-up lights on cars and steer yourself clear.
  • Of course summer is also a time for heat-related illnesses. Be sure to take extra breaks if you are working or playing outdoors, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Mosquitoes can cause a number of illnesses, including the Zika and West Nile viruses. There are 176 species of mosquito in the United States, and the two most common bite humans during the day (especially mid-day when the sun is at its peak) and the early evening hours. Use insect repellant if you are going to be outside for extended periods of time or are engaging in sunset activities, such as a picnic or sporting event.
  • Be sure to wear a helmet while bicycling or skateboarding! In 2015, more than125,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while skateboarding. Serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries can occur without a helmet.
  • Playgrounds are a popular summer recreation destination, but be sure to monitor your children’s activities. Look for a playground with several inches of soft rubber compost or wood chips to soften the blow from a fall from the monkey bars or the slide.
  • For parents of driving-age teens, the time from Memorial Day to Labor Day is sometimes known as “the 100 deadliest days.” Drunken driving increases during the summer months, and teen driving accidents increase, too. The vast majority of young people who die in alcohol-related crashes are killed on Friday and Saturday evenings. Even if youths themselves are not drinking and driving, they are more likely to be killed because of adults who have been drinking and driving on weekend evenings. Parents may want to limit their teen’s late-night and weekend driving hours.

Summertime is a wonderful time for relaxing, making memories, and for family vacations. Just be sure to keep yourself and your children safe!