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.