Did you know Route 34 is exactly, exactly the same width, building face to building face, as the Champs-Élysées in Paris? The Champs-Élysées, arguably the grandest avenue on the entire planet, was created out of nothing in the 19th century to bring more celebrity to the City of Paris, to connect the city with the just being formed grandest park in Europe, the Bois de Boulogne, and to organize/raise the value of everything in between. Significantly, the boulevard was very very intentional. Intentional is the key word missing from all urban enterprise in the US today.
If one were to put on a Haussmann brain, the unrealized potential of disreputable Route 34 could do exactly the same thing, becoming the greatest avenue in the US, raising the importance of West River Park, healing, joining and organizing the separated forlorn parts of “staggering” (I prefer over both struggling and striving) New Haven, and it would look like this (with a couple of Arc de Triomph thrown in; see image above).