Hugh Bailey | Hearst Connecticut Media

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.When planners promote what is known as transit-oriented development, it is situations like this week’s winter storm they have in mind.

In some Bridgeport neighborhoods, where a growing number of people are able to live a life less dependent on cars, events that severely limit options for everyone else can be more or less shrugged off.

“With the bodegas and small grocers every couple of  blocks, it’s easy to bundle up and head down the street if your fridge needs replenishing,” Becca Bryan, who lives in the South End and works downtown, said in an email. “The colder the weather, the cozier the neighborhood becomes.”

As described by the Regional Plan Association, transit-oriented development “is a strategy for growth that produces less traffic and lessens impact on roads and highways. Households located within walking distance of transit own fewer cars, drive less and pay a smaller share of their income on transportation-related expenses.”

With roads out of the city not an option during the height of the storm, most people not living in a dense neighborhood were stuck. The state told people not to drive after 9 p.m. Monday and bus and rail service were suspended. But that didn’t mean downtown was closed.

Adam Wood, chief of staff to Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, said a number of downtown businesses were able to weather the storm.

“This is why we have such a focus on transit-oriented development in the city,” he said. “You don’t have to own a car, buy gas, move your car and all the rest if you want to live here.”

Wood mentioned Tiago’s Bar and Grill, Barnum Publick House and the Holiday Inn among downtown businesses that did not close. Read more