Pulaski Circle, Bushnell South, and Other Neighborhood News

Autumn leaves on Capitol Avenue looking east.

When the Greater Hartford Mobility Study included Pulaski Circle and its related safety issues in its list of potential future projects, the online chatter about the “Circle of Death” caught the attention of local media. Recently, a few SoDo members were interviewed for CT Insider and NBC Connecticut. You can read more about the GHMB study in this Courant article (gift link). Read more about SoDo’s attempts to slow traffic in the area here. The GHMB’s next public meeting is this Thursday.

As well, Bushnell South (aka Capital Avenue redevelopment) was also in the news this past week (gift link), as it seems the parking lot on the southwest corner of Hudson and Capitol is a hot commodity — three developers want it: Spinnaker, The Bushnell, and possibly the government for a new federal courthouse. We have links to three years’ worth of articles about Bushnell South on our website. Speaking of Cap Ave development, Brandon Lira from Spinnaker Real Estate is the guest speaker at this week’s SoDo NRZ meeting, with an update on renovations at 55 Elm.

We next meet on Wednesday, November 15 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Avenue (enter through the small white building to the right of the church). Our meetings are open to the public and we especially welcome new residents, businesses, and organizations to attend and meet your neighbors! Please join us!

SoDo Neighborhood Blood Drive Survey

The South Downtown NRZ has partnered with First Presbyterian Church of Hartford to sponsor an American Red Cross Blood Drive. We need to make sure we have enough people to donate blood before we can commit. We support and encourage you to take time to give blood; a simple way to make a difference in someone's life. Your one blood donation can help save up to three lives.  

Have questions about giving blood? Visit the Red Cross website here. Any other questions? Contact SoDoNRZ@gmail.com.

The survey closed on October 30, 2023. Thank you for your interest.

Love Hartford 2023 Neighborhood Cleanup


UPDATE: Our Love Hartford Week Neighborhood Cleanup that was scheduled to take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 22) is postponed due to weather. Our neighborhood can always use the love, so we will plan another one for later this fall. Last year we had a dozen volunteers and picked up over 250 pounds of trash! 

If you aren't already on our email list, please sign up for our newsletter so you stay in the know for this and other events!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 21 from 9 am to 11 am for a neighborhood cleanup, part of the City and Knox Foundation's Love Hartford Week.

RSVP here so we know how much equipment is needed.

Meet on the northwest corner of Main & Buckingham Streets, in Buckingham Square Park. Gloves, trash bags, water, etc. will be provided. Following the cleanup, all participants are invited to a celebration at Pope Park from 11-2 for refreshments.

September Meeting Wednesday 9/20

This week brings the Autumnal Equinox, and the first SoDo NRZ meeting of the 2023-24 year, Wednesday, September 20 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church (136 Capitol Ave., enter through the white building to the right of the main church). Please join us!

Our meetings typically include reports from Hartford NEXT, Community Garden, and the Outreach and Social Committees (check out this month's newsletter for info in the return of SoDo’s Progressive Dinner!), reports from HPD and HFD on activity in the neighborhood, and updates from various City offices such as Community Engagement, Planning & Development Services, and Sustainability. We occasionally have special guests who share information relevant to quality of life in the neighborhood/city.

It feels like Hartford activities are back up to pre-2020 levels: live music, festivals, yoga in the park, and non-profit fundraising events. Not sure where to start? Visit the new “Things To Do” page of our website, or the Hartford.com website.

Danger at Pulaski Circle: 6/29 last day to vote


View of Pulaski Circle looking north from Hudson Street
View of Pulaski Circle looking north from Hudson Street.

Please vote TODAY to make Pulaski Circle a safer intersection.

If you have ever tried to walk across Hudson Street or Elm Street to get to or from Bushnell Park on foot you very likely have felt like you might be taking your life in your hands.

Pulaski Circle is a dangerous** intersection/rotary that functions poorly (looking at you Whitehead Highway exit ramp). Despite multiple yield signs, stop signs, painted crosswalks, and pedestrian crossing signs in neon green, this area is a hazard to motorists and pedestrians.

SoDo neighbor and Board Member Michael Robbins has submitted a Pulaski Circle Safety project to Hartford Decide$, the City of Hartford's Participatory Budgeting initiative. The project has made it to the final round and now needs as many votes as possible to be selected. This project will benefit pedestrians, particularly those walking to and from Bushnell Park, and drivers who have difficulty noticing pedestrians crossing the streets that intersect with Pulaski Circle. 

The project can succeed only if enough Hartford residents vote for it. Please visit Hartford Decide$ and vote for this safety initiative by 11:59 pm Thursday, June 29. Any Hartford resident aged 10 and up can vote.

**In March 2022 the Hartford Courant reported* “Between 2017 and 2021, there were 121 crashes in Pulaski Circle, 18 involving pedestrians with rear-end collisions accounting for more than half of incidents, according to traffic statistics. Nearly 20% resulted in injuries.”

*Gift link, you can read this article without a subscription to the Courant.

55 Elm Presentation at June 21 Annual Meeting & Elections

So much SoDo News this month! Pulaski Circle, Federal Courthouse, Bushnell South, and our Love Your Block submission. Our Annual Meeting & Elections is Wednesday, June 21, at 6 pm at First Presbyterian in the main part of the church.
Guest speaker: Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, with an update on the redevelopment of 55 Elm Street.

Click here for more info on the above, the meeting agenda, and other useful neighborhood info. We hope to see many neighbors at Wednesday’s meeting!

SoDo Relocation of Federal Courthouse?

The federal government is considering relocating the Hartford federal court operations from its present location at 450 Main Street (across from The Linden) and building a new courthouse elsewhere in the city. Three locations are under consideration, including a 2.5-acre parcel of land in SoDo, on Hudson Street between Capitol Avenue and Buckingham Street. This parcel is currently state-owned, exempt from taxation, and is used as a parking lot for state employees. This parcel is also earmarked for Phase 3 of the Bushnell South development of mixed-use housing and retail, which would put it back on the city's tax rolls. 

There will be a public hearing regarding an upcoming environmental study of the Capitol Avenue parcel as well as the two other potential court sites on Tuesday, June 6, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Park Street Library, 603 Park Street. You can read more about the courthouse project from this announcement letter and on the GSA website.

News articles about the proposed Bushnell South redevelopment and proposed courthouse move are on the Capitol Avenue Redevelopment page of this site.