Investments in Infrastructure and Transportation
Investing in infrastructure is vital to our quality of life, our public safety, and our public health. Crumbling roads and bridges, a deficient train station, and mold in our schools are unacceptable and we can do better. As State Representative, I have been a strong advocate for the Transportation Lockbox that protects taxpayer dollars intended for transportation, and a fierce supporter of dedicating additional capital funding to improving Stamford's roads and schools. As mayor, I will continue to advocate for revitalizing our city's infrastructure by taking the following actions:
Working with the Stamford delegation, state leaders, and the federal delegation to secure state and federal funding to improve our schools, get rid of mold in public buildings and to enhance our transportation infrastructure, with a focus on rebuilding our aging train station and repairing our roads and bridges.
Increasing neighborhood connectivity by building new sidewalks and bike lanes, adding more green spaces, and prioritizing projects that promote walkability and sidewalk safety.
Plan for Infrastructure
Watch Caroline's speech detailing her plan for investing in Stamford's infrastructure.
For most people, their first impression of Stamford is made at our train station. Prior to the pandemic, the Stamford Transportation Center was not only the most-used station for the New Haven Metro North Line, but it was also the most-used transportation hub in all of Connecticut. We have more people pass through Stamford’s train station then through Bradley International Airport by a significant margin. When new people come to Connecticut, they are making their first impression of our state — and our city — in this station.
Unfortunately, this station is not representative of Stamford, but it could be with renewed investment. Our infrastructure has a lot of potential, if we invested in the projects we’ve needed for years. Right now, our city has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve that potential thanks to President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package. I want to share with you my vision and priorities as Mayor for Stamford’s infrastructure.
It starts at the Stamford Transportation Center. This station is where most people make their first impression of Stamford and Connecticut, so both our city and the state are incentivized to make a redesign project work. As Mayor, I will renew conversations with the state to redesign the Stamford Transportation Center for the modern era. That redesign will address the following priorities:
First, developing a comprehensive design for the station. Every major transportation hub in the world is integrated with its surroundings with a vibrant collection of commercial, retail, and housing. Stamford has so much vitality in its community and businesses, let’s make our train station feel that way too.
Second, replacing our parking garage. The majority of commuters travel to the station by car, so it is unacceptable we have a garage that is literally falling apart. We cannot delay any longer without risking our garage becoming a public safety risk in addition to a transportation challenge. Let’s build a new garage for our commuters.
Finally, we need to renew our understanding of how people get to public transit. As I said, the majority of residents drive to the station and we should accommodate for that, but thousands of people use buses, trolleys, or simply walk here. I know from experience, getting dropped off at our station shows how hostile the current design is toward pedestrians. Let’s make our transportation center accessible to all our residents with better pedestrian access, dedicated drop-off zones, and integrated bus stops.
Redesigning our train station will be an ambitious project, but our infrastructure needs go beyond this station. Let’s start with a simple one: repaving our roads. Stamford has the money, personnel, and ability to repave all our roads. We just don’t do it. Let’s finally pave the roads.
As we approach road paving, we need to be considerate of modern challenges specifically increasing our city’s resiliency to climate change. As a city, we should feel an obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change on our residents. I would update the grading standards for road repaving to ensure better drainage and prevent flooding in our city streets, properties, and transit systems. I would also pursue larger projects such as building sea walls to ensure our coastal communities are protected for the future. Above all, I would be an advocate for Stamford’s environment, and that includes holding Eversource accountable for modernizing our electricity grid so residents don’t lose power during storms like what we saw last week.
In fact, I would go further and hire a Director of Sustainability — a position that’s already been established in cities like New York, and South Bend, Indiana. This position would serve the practical need for an expert to oversee the implementation of sustainability projects. I would task this new director with two initial priorities: replacing our vehicle fleet with electric vehicles where possible, as well as identifying and installing solar panels on municipal buildings wherever possible. These initiatives will benefit our environment and reduce energy costs for taxpayers.
Finally, I will be a mayor who is a friend to the pedestrians in our city and implement a dedicated sidewalk fund. Improving our sidewalks is long overdue and repairing our damaged sidewalks will not only make our city more connected, but also more accessible for the many residents who can’t rely on transportation by car. I’ll pair this investment in our sidewalks with further investment in our parks. Every Stamford resident should have a park within 10 minutes walking distance from where they live, let’s make sure every park has amenities that the public can use.
These projects are ambitious, but I believe we can do it. As the only candidate in this race with state and federal experience, I know how to take advantage of the anticipated $1.3 billion state and federal money coming to Connecticut for infrastructure projects. As a State Legislator, I’ve secured over $300 million in state bonding for Stamford, and I’ll do even more as Mayor. I know what it takes to be a leader who listens to stakeholders and gets things done. We’ll need that as we pursue projects that require coordination with the state Department of Transportation, our local legislative delegation, and Stamford’s community.
I know from listening to residents that infrastructure has been the top of their priorities for a long time. Let’s take advantage of the moment we’re in, work together, and get the big projects for our community done. I believe we can do it, and as your mayor, I promise we will.