|Our Safe Growth team, which was formed and trained with funding from Local Initiatives Support Corporation, has been working with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design techniques to identify and to mitigate crime hot spots in Asylum Hill. As we started using publicly available data from the City of Hartford, we saw potential for the historic data on crime, which goes back to 2005, to help us to predict future hot spots -- we could combine our extensive neighborhood memory to look at spots we knew were distressed at certain specific times in the past and then look at data from before and after the distress to see what was going on. When we added past NINA project sites into the mix, we had specific timing for blight -- and we immediately noticed that abandoned motor vehicles appeared in high numbers just before NINA acquired the properties. We are now exploring whether that is just a coincidence or whether it can help us to allocate tight resources, especially the time volunteers put into the neighborhood, more effectively.|
|As part of our work on crime hot spots, we are conducted a comprehensive survey of all of the streetlights in the neighborhood. The primary goal of this effort is to find streetlight outages and to report them, but we hope to combine data on crime with data on streetlight location and wattage to determine the extent of any connection.|
|As we conduct our survey of streetlights, we noticed that the condition of street signs is pretty bad. We've begun to record that so that we can get them replaced. We've also wondered what impact these signs have on the quality of life in the neighborhood: does a "Blockwatch Protected" sign have any effect? And what about parking restrictions? Do they help or hinder people from having cars in the neighborhood?|
|Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) may have had its start right here in Asylum Hill! A study funded by the US Department of Justice was conducted by a local non-profit organization in the late 1970s, and it examined the local environment and how it affected crime rates. The study resulted in changes to some traffic patterns in the neighborhood, in particular the closure of Sargeant Street at Sigourney Street and the narrowing of the intersection at Huntington Street and Collins Street. Some people hold that this study is the beginning of CPTED and the national movement to standardize its use.|
The last of it - Asylum Avenue3/10/2022
Huzzah! I finished up my street walking tonight with Asylum Avenue. I just beat Daylight Savings Time, too. Along the way, I also finished up Garden Street – you know, the part I don’t walk along to get home.
On my way out, I caught a marvelous view of the sunset down Sargeant Street. I also got some nice shots of the pedestrian tunnel under the railro
The second to last of it - Farmington Avenue3/6/2022
Based on my experience on Sigourney Street, I walked up to Farmington and Broad a little before 6 PM, and then waited. Sure enough, the lights popped on at 6, so that’s the time they’re supposed to go on, at least this time of year. Farther down the street, some of the decorative streetlights were out. One more thing to add to our analysis.
Note in the backg
Forest Street in the waning twilight3/4/2022
The Stowe Center’s two houses looked nice in the twilight. Otherwise, the big story tonight was being followed briefly on my walk by someone who’d just bought a pizza at the Domino’s on Farmington Avenue and was walking to their parked car on Forest Street. It reminded me that I’ve been taking these walks at dinnertime!
One light out, down under the hi
Street signs on Ashley3/3/2022
A sampling – but it has caught my eye that almost every Blockwatch Protected sign is in sorry shape. Although not necessarily as important as parking signs or speed limits, these signs will likely become our priority.
Also, it’s really hard to believe that anyone in their right mind thinks that 30 miles per hour can be done on Ashley Street, let alone is appropriate to
Another big walk - Woodland Street and Woodland Drive3/1/2022
A confession: surveying streetlights and street signs constituted the first and second times I’ve ever been on Woodland Drive in my 27 years of living in Hartford.
Woodland Street is the spine of the hospital district, and it is very bright, with or without the streetlights.
52 lights, 4 out.
A big walk - Sigourney, Imlay, and Hawthorn Streets2/27/2022
I’m starting to feel the press of time, as in Eastern Daylight Savings Time, so I decided to take a walk on Sigourney Street on a Sunday night. One miscalculation, though: by going a bit earlier than normal, I discovered that the timers may run differently on either side of Sigourney. Am I sure that they weren’t just out? No, but at least one light popped on
Gillett and Niles Streets2/23/2022
These streets are part of the section of Asylum Hill between Asylum and Farmington – it isn’t Sigourney Square, and it isn’t Nook Farm, it is literally in between. Walking it this evening, though, I again found a collectively cohesive section of the neighborhood.
Also, it’s already taking longer to get dark out. Blast the rotation of the planet!
Another night out on the Hill2/17/2022
Tonight it was South Marshall, Marshall, Laurel, and Case Streets. So far, this has been the most active section of the neighborhood I’ve been through, probably because it includes the densest commercial district on Farmington Avenue. Between the retail and the apartment buildings, this was a very well lit part of Asylum Hill.
52 lights, 4 out.
The streets of Asylum Hill2/16/2022
Another night, another walkabout – this time on Fraser Place, Spring Street, Edwards Street, Myrtle Street, and Spruce Street, basically the area between Union Station and Liam McGee Park. These streets collectively comprise the upward slope of the Hill, and I was surprised to discover how cohesively they fit together as a district within the neighborhood. Union Station, by th
Ashley Street tonight2/14/2022
Ashley Street, like Sargeant Street, benefits from decorative streetlights between Garden and Huntington Streets, but unlike Sargeant Street, on Ashley Street the decorative streetlights double, not triple, the number of streetlights. Ambient light was again a factor to take into account, especially between Atwood and Woodland – the Saint Francis Hospital campus produces an enormous
Out on Sargeant Street tonight2/11/2022
I took a walk up and back on Sargeant Street this evening. Out of 57 streetlights, there was one that was out. It made surprisingly little difference, probably because of its location at the Veeder Place parking lot. This makes me think that we should consider ambient light as well as direct lighting as we move forward with our analysis of crime data. This evening, this
The rest of Sargeant Street and all of Woodland Drive12/20/2021
It got even worse when I went down Woodland Drive. Ashley Street will be next, but before that we’ll be talking to Hartford’s Department of Public Works about signage and how it’s replaced. I’m also wondering why Woodland Drive, an entirely residential cul-de-sac marked in a couple of places to drive slowly and to watch out for kids, has a speed limit of 25 m
The street sign inspection begins11/11/2021
I began our inspection of street signs today – this is an outgrowth of our Safe Growth program, which began as an analysis of crime statistics that included Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques and then turned toward an examination of the environment in the neighborhood. I began with streetlights, and in the last couple of years those were almost entirely
Security lights on huntington Street12/17/2015
Our neighbor Jonathan Clark has installed new security lights on the front of his house. These lights, which are motion activated, are designed to draw attention to some of the illegal activity that goes on across the street from him at an apartment building next to a vacant lot. It’s never fun to note that there are problems in the neighborhood, but Jonathan is an excellent e