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Norwalk’s Westport Avenue slated for continuous sidewalks

Norwalk Westport Avenue March 12 2013 039

A Norwalk pedestrian walks along Westport Avenue on Wednesday.

NORWALK, Conn. – If you take a ride on Westport Avenue you’ll see where $100,000 of Norwalk money is likely to go this year.

Sidewalk improvements are part of the $275,000 recommended for funding for the Planning and Zoning Department in Mayor Richard Moccia’s capital budget plan for fiscal year 2013-2014. Also likely to be given a green light by the Common Council are $50,000 for a bikeway plan, $25,000 for public art and $100,000 for waterfront public access.

What does all that mean?

• “The waterfront access would provide funds to create places where the public could get physical access to Norwalk Harbor and Norwalk River — in this case, along the riverfront at 40 Cross St. medical offices,” Planning and Zoning Department Director Mike Greene said.

• “The bikeway funds are to add striping and signage along existing roads, similar to what was done on the road to Calf Pasture Beach,” Greene said.  The money would be used for roads identified as “Tier 2” in the Norwalk Pedestrian and Bikeway Transportation Plan.

• The sidewalk plan is to fill in gaps in the sidewalk system on Westport Avenue. “Route 1 is a state road and the responsibility for sidewalks belongs to the state,” Greene said. “However, Norwalk decided last year that we could no longer wait for the state and should fill in the gaps as funding allows. After all, it is a safety issue for Norwalk residents and visitors. The recent construction of sidewalks by Hank May’s was in last year’s capital budget. A quick drive along the road will reveal the gaps that need filling.”

• The public art would be small-scale projects in plazas. “We may only get you one or two pieces, but at least we start decorating the city,” Greene said.

The projects have been green-lighted by the finance department and the planning commission. Yet to weigh in is the Common Council planning committee, which held a hearing on the capital budget on March 7. The capital budget will be voted on by the entire council in April.

3 comments

jlightfield March 16, 2013 at 9:12 am

Isn’t the key lack of sidewalk on route 1 are Connecticut Avenue and particularly between Darinor plaza and PC Richards?

Diane C2 March 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Put in the sidewalks and send an invoice to the state – with terms of “due upon receipt”……

As to the art, find private donations to pay – not taxpayers… can be modeled after Stamford’s very successful Art in Public Places events….

The striping of Calf Pasture was a waste of time and money and looks to be a more dangerous situation there now than with nothing….better rethink the “sharrow” stuff before someone gets seriously injured or killed…

EveT March 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

It would be great to see sidewalks repaired. Also, in some places the sidewalk is too narrow for two people, or one person with a stroller. Deteriorated sidewalks, inadequate sidewalks, and roads with no sidewalks are all a deterrent to making the city attractive for people who are considering living here, opening businesses here, or coming here for a day trip.

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