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New Norwalk movement seeks to change paradigm on traffic safety

Audrey Cozzarin leads Saturday’s traffic safety meeting in the Norwalk Public Library.

NORWALK, Conn. – A new approach to Norwalk traffic safety aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries to zero, activist Audrey Cozzarin said at an organizational meeting Saturday, where she sought volunteer support.

Cozzarin, standing in front of more than 70 people in the Norwalk Public Library, said she was motivated by her “utter sadness” over the loss of her friend, Mike Hefferan, who was hit by a car in late March while walking across a street in Westchester County, with a traffic light that was green for the direction he was going.

“It will take all hands-on deck to deal with some of the issues that we are facing in the city. So, Mike this is for you,” she said.  The activist later noted that she “almost got hit” while leaving Hefferan’s funeral by a driver who legally made a right turn on red, into the path of pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Cozzarin said she has spent the months since Hefferan’s death researching traffic issues and talking to many people about it, including the Police Commission, the Bike/Walk Commission, the Coalition of Norwalk Neighborhood Associations and even the Office of Traffic Safety in Alberta Canada.

“What I am hoping for is that we can create a committed, well-informed group, that we can foster continuous engagement with officials, not just officials but other organizations, committees, coalitions… to create neighborhood solutions,” she said.

After she spoke, Norwalkers shared 40 minutes of complaints ranging from speeders on Hospital Hill to an account of a young man in a large pickup truck endangering others by regularly cutting through parking lots and blasting through red lights.  Some shared stories about bad driving or assailed Norwalk Police, while others urged positive action and offered perspective. Listening through it all were Director of Transportation, Mobility and Parking Kathryn Hebert, Norwalk Police Lt. Terry Blake, Common Council President Tom Livingston (D-District E) and State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137). Mayor Harry Rilling attended the presentation but left before the avalanche of complaints and did not address the crowd.

An illustration presented Saturday by Audrey Cozzarin.

Cozzarin, in her lively talk, attempted to psychoanalyze drivers and their behavior. There are anger issues, she said.

“We don’t know psychologically where that’s coming from,” she said. “I feel like drivers are reacting to something and then bringing that to the road. So it’s not just the act of driving but our whole societal way of life that is huge, it’s almost unfathomable.”

Norwalk is taking a Vision Zero approach, she said.

“We want to ask ourselves, how do we want to live?” she said. “The mayor asked ‘who are we as a city, as a people?’ Sen. Bob Duff asked the same question recently at a town hall. First, I thought these questions were kind of trivial but I think they’re so essential so fundamental: Who are we? How do we define ourselves as Norwalkers, as members of Fairfield County?”

Vision Zero, on its website, promises to take a “proactive, preventative approach that prioritizes traffic safety as a public health issue.”

Vision Zero states:

“Vision Zero is a significant departure from the status quo in two major ways:

“Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes.

“Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address this complex problem. In the past, meaningful, cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals has not been the norm. Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility — including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology, and policies — and sets clear goals to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries.”

 

“Right now, it seems – it’s not just Norwalk, in our American society – that the car is at the top and everybody else be damned. We just get around the best we can. So, the Vision Zero is a vision. I think it’s a lovely vision for Norwalk,” Cozzarin said.

John Einstman kicked off the venting, noting that there have been many close calls in proximity to the hospital. Some states now allow cameras in stop signs so police can issue tickets without being present, he said, complaining that he’s reached out but “You call the police department, they say, ‘Call City Hall.’ City Hall tells me to call the police department.”

“I hear your concern,” Blake said. “… The buck stops here.”

Einstman said he wanted to join Cozzarin’s task force.

Jeff Poruban said he was cycling in June 2011 on East Avenue by Fort Point Street when he was hit by a car and  permanently injured. The driver got a ticket for driving an uninsured vehicle and Poruban was left with an $11,000 hospital bill.

“Do we know the most dangerous intersection in the city?” a speaker asked.

“Not off the top of my head,” Blake replied.

Norwalk High School parents are complaining about unsafe drivers, Diana Carpio said.  Carpio sat at a County Street red light recently and watched as six vehicles made U-turns, in spite of signs announcing that it’s illegal.

“There’s no police officers,” she said.

Cozzarin spoke of other traffic safety efforts, including Complete Streets, Slow Streets and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safe Communities.

The Complete Streets legislation that was passed 10 years ago has a blind spot, Perone said.

Audience members listen to Audrey Cozzarin’s talk Saturday in the Norwalk Public Library.

“I don’t think it drilled down enough on public safety and I think that what you are talking about here is very important because we need to have this conversation,” Perone said. Police, City Hall, the legislature “do what they can do, with the resources they have” and “getting all involved to make this happen, I think is the thing.”

Mark Albertson said he remembers when there were 42,000 people living in Norwalk and there were three working farms.

“Now we’re approaching 90,000 and yet many of the roads and the sidewalks haven’t been changed,” he said. “…Much of the town is obsolete. So that is going to lead to traffic problems and…  some of (the sidewalks) have been around since the Olmstead Act.”

“I feel like we have a tendency to be traffic engineers ourselves,” Brian Brown said. “When you go to implement a solution, a lot of times it’s simply not feasible. Putting a police officer at a certain place over and over again is expensive. Police officers aren’t free. Traffic corrections aren’t free.”

A stop sign might stop a driver but then they might speed up to make up the time, he said.

“All of these situations need traffic engineers to intelligently put things in place,” he said.

“We are venting,” said Serafino Carri, Cozzarin’s husband, as he helped lead the meeting to a conclusion. “It’s about cooperating with law and political leaders because we can change the law as citizens. It take time, there’s a process, but if we do that, as an example, the remote surveillance piece could be real. But right now, officers are in charge of following the law, not creating the law.”

“We have to change the paradigm of it’s this up-down chain, it’s not an up-down chain, its a circle. We need to change the way we think,” Cozzarin said.

Afterwards, Steve Mann said it was “good to know so many others are bothered. Sadly the people who are the problem did not attend.”

Many of those who spoke out were long time Norwalkers, he said. “All need to realize that this city has changed dramatically from the good old days. Becoming a community of apartment dwellers has added a transient element that couldn’t care less for our safety or comfort. One commenter got it right –  it all starts with enforcement. … in typical fashion the Mayor left before the comment period. Funny how that works.”

Unaffiliated Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton also slammed Rilling for leaving, and said Norwalk’s infrastructure is not up to the increased density.

Rilling later told NancyOnNorwalk that he had a typically busy Saturday morning and left for another event. He’s spoken to Cozzarin and is “well aware of what is being planned and how we are going to go about it,” he said.

“As the former police chief I am well aware of the need for enforcement of motor vehicle laws,” he wrote. “However there are three components to motor vehicle safety, first being engineering, second being education and third being enforcement. We have a comprehensive effort in Norwalk and monitor motor vehicle conditions on a regular basis and we place our resources where they are most needed. Our police officers work hard and provide a tremendous service to our community.”

Steve Mann is a Chapman Hyperlocal Media Inc Board member. 

22 comments

Milly July 1, 2019 at 5:33 am

Good luck working with Norwalk Traffic authority – they have a bad way of solving problems.
This is a great example.
Traffic Authority minutes Jan 28, 2019.
The subject was cars parking on Mill Hill.
“Ms. Herbert said the parking is causing a dangerous situation and they are receiving numerous complaints.’

TA Minutes April 15, 2019
” Mr. Yeosck said as part of the plan there will be parking on Mill Hill and we will have a dedicated bike lane. ”
So the solution to a dangerous situation of cars parking on Mill Hill was to put up signs allowing it! There were never cars there before Head of the Harbor South was built and parking is now being allowed for that building’s benefit.
So good luck with the Norwalk TA solving “dangerous” problems.

Scott July 1, 2019 at 7:46 am

It was a nice turnout. People all over Norwalk realize the problems we have but continue to vote in the same deadbeats! Time for a change Norwalk! We saw this Saturday when the mayor left the meeting before the public participation! Couldn’t his assistant be there to answer questions or hear concerns!?

Bryan Meek July 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

Says it all right here….

Mayor Harry Rilling attended the presentation but left before the avalanche of complaints and did not speak to the crowd.

…..literally out to lunch.

Al Bore July 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Sadly they all get voted back in again and again. I say sadly. To much traffic equals to many GIANT apartment buildings with many more to come. Stop the madness vote Lisa she gets it our mayor does not. Norwalk is being destroyed one giant apartment building at a time. I watch my home value go down year after year and my taxes go up. Make sense? NO!

Lisa Brinton July 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Audrey,
Thank you for your ‘activism’ in hosting this event. With over 70 in attendance, on a Saturday morning – it confirms your suspicion that residents are both concerned and frustrated over what’s become a safety and quality of life issue in our city.

Your best slide highlighted the 12 integrated elements causing, associated or impacted by the increase in traffic:

Road design
Development
Economy
Street scape
Pedestrian
Ecology
Equity of neighborhoods
Free Travel
Enforcement
Civil life
School/work
Public health

We can’t increase population in Norwalk, without expecting more traffic. We also can’t create fortress apartments or add a mall or another big box store without expecting more traffic.

This meeting highlighted the flaws in our city planning or unintended consequences we have now found ourselves facing, as a result of an ‘increased density’ policy by this administration.

I believe there are a host of practices that can be put in place to mitigate the safety issues – like better police enforcement and stiffer fines. No doubt, there are others.

I look forward to supporting your group in whatever capacity advances the cause!

Thank YOU again!!!

Patrick McCarthy July 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

A lot of armchair debating going on!Its always the same criticize and complain.Lisa i hope you win and can make norwalk great again.

Audrey Cozzarin July 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Thank you, Lisa, and All who have commented today,
My intent is to first acknowledge that there are traffic safety issues, discuss them, research and examine solutions, then act. Without commitment from the entities charged with/involved in public safety, it becomes next to impossible to plan and act in a meaningful, holistic way. I invited the various officials as citizens themselves, to understand we are all in the same village and need to focus on the common concerns we all experience–aggressive and lawless behavior behind the wheel and the danger that creates.

How do we want to live? Who are we as a city, as a people? I think Saturday’s meeting demonstrates the level of concern and also love for Norwalk. People care, and that’s why they turned out, each person representing many more who couldn’t attend. It’s a quality of life issue at stake, really. I believe we all want a friendlier city, without the stressed-out, impatient, law-breaking drivers on Norwalk’s roads and cutting through our quiet neighborhoods.

Let’s start by each of us driving safely. Try driving the speed limit posted and you’ll see how fast you get bullied by the car behind you. But stick to it. Honk when you see someone blow through a stop sign or run a red light, or certainly not yielding your right of way. Let that person know you saw them and their behavior has been noted. We must show what Norwalkers expect in their town.

Besides driver behavior (very difficult to change, but not impossible, at least with some folks), road and neighborhood design (very much about development as well as engineering) are important components of traffic safety as Lisa mentioned were touched on in the presentation on Sat.

Thank you for your comments–all of us are needed on deck to tackle such a large society issue as this one.

Kevin Kane July 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Hi Audrey,
In full disclosure, I moved from Norwalk to Wilton 2 months ago. While living in Norwalk I volunteered then quit the Norwalk Bike Walk Task Force that had evolved into a Commission. It was/is well intended with a handful of volunteers truly working their butts off to try and make change. I struggled with some personal challenges and the experience was not gratifying. I viewed the Task Force/Commission as essentially an uncooked egg – nice structure on the outside, put together, symmetrical but when it was flicked, it was hard to handle and not much substance in my opinion. I felt as though the mayor started something to get a sound bite for a news story, formally assign Mike Mushak to a task he could lead or Mayor Rilling could now check a box he could show some government official or donor that a pro-bike, pro-pedestrian group existed. The Force, or Farce I come to refer it as was largely moving forward due the partnership with the Health Department. It was a painted sharrow here….a short bike lane there….maybe some influence here….a guest appearance there…. but life on the Task Force/Commission was like wearing cement shoes or riding a bike with 2 flat tires.

I bring this up not to stifle what is an awesome undertaking but to offer up some insights.

1. Lead, follow or get out of the way Mr. or Mrs. Mayor: without consistent and accountable help from the TOP, you are doomed to past failures. An email or swearing in session by the mayor is not enough. The leader MUST lead. The Leader MUST be held accountable.
2. Get DPW involved: sidewalks, pavement, curbs, signs all generally reside with DPW. Unfortunately, so too did the cement for my cement shoes. It felt like there was telephone sized books of codes, regulations, standards, procedures…..it’s crazy. Maybe someone could move that mountain but it’s insane what it takes to do simple procedures. Good smart people saddled with arcane processes. Connecticut Department of Transportation is a whole other field of land mines. That’s a topic for another day.
3. Consolidate: great intentions, 70 people on a Saturday…wow. Awesome. But my concern would be the various groups battling for sanity are spread wide and shallow. Go narrow and deep. Consolidate and consider doing so with groups seeking similar things.
4. Mandatory no excuses accountability: This goes with point 1. Your next meeting needs to have a spreadsheet with Task, Time Needed To Do Task, Who is Accountable, Todays Date and Task Will Be Done By What Date, # of Days This Task Has Been Assigned. You are a volunteer organization asking people who are paid (police, town hall, DPW, etc.., to help you. Without accountability within the group and across lines, life will be hard. Work smart, not hard.
5. Fill The Ticket Books. There should be a hyper focus for a short period of time to police AND ticket violators. Then, publicize the daylights out of it. Example: put 3 cops at the intersection of West Rocks and Bayne. 1 in a car. 2 on foot, ideally hidden in the bushes. Write tickets for those blowing the stop sign. Ticket everyone. Then, spray this headline all over – print, NorwalkCT.org landing page, social media: Norwalk Police Hand Out 192 Violations in 4 Hours…..At 1 Intersection. This will send a message that Norwalk is not f-ing around. Do it again. And Again. Soon, word will travel that Norwalk enforces laws and violators will be walking around pissed off that they have a ticket to pay.
6. Don’t become a Commission. There are pros and cons to being a Commission but it introduces a whole epic level of bureaucracy. The most crippling was the need to post agendas 24 hours in advance of a meeting with 3 or more Commissioners. No more impromptu meetings. I went from sort of nimble to cripple. Then I quit.
7. Get Risky. I believe that Norwalk was incredibly and overly risk averse. Individuals and organizations can never eliminate risk – only manage it. However, Norwalk seemed paralyzed by fear that something remotely possible would occur then the idea would get buried. Dig out the discussions on trying curb bump outs, painting a green stop box or the motherload tied to all of the above: improving safety at the crosswalks on Hospital Hill. Mind numbing.
8. Get young. Work to include younger folks in the dialog and effort. Many do not pay taxes and may find it interesting to see the staggering amounts of challenges to paint 1 bike symbol on a road or fix a curb cut. They might get local and loud which would help. Embrace technology like conference calls, Skype and other very efficient communication methods that these and others can use to participate.
9. Not once a month. Try to avoid meeting once a month. If someone misses a meeting, bam – you lost 60 days. Unless….you have a very good communication and follow up process.
10. Go Rogue, Go Public. You are going to hit walls along the way. Make note and adjust course. But keep tabs on when the failure or wall keeps cropping up. When nothing gets done, you MUST go public. Example: Cozzarin Goes Crazy – 217 Days And No Meeting. I am making that headline up but envision you having to get a meeting scheduled that was promised and it’s taken 217 days. Publish the name of the person responsible for blowing you off. Publish a pdf of your emails. Publish your cell phone records. Publish your text messages. You could be your own Freedom Of Information Act before one even has to get filed. This SHOULD create accountability but burying it in talks over a beer or coffee with your friend in a vent session won’t cut it. Tactfully shaming someone tends to get the fire lit under the proper anatomical location although I don’t think it’s ever been tried in Norwalk.
11. Why and why and why and why. Ask and articulate what you are doing or what you want and why. Then ask it again. Then ask why again. And again. Do it until you have a very clear ask and objective. People will relate, grasp and react to your needs more efficiently.
12. Use numbers and facts. Listen, then listen again, set priorities then strip out the emotions which can overtake discussions and cloud objectives. Deal in facts too. “Our infrastructure blows” ….”I almost got hit tons of times”….”that’s a crazy intersection”…or something similar does not really have teeth. You definitely have a good start here but numbers of fatalities, a picture of a Norwalk resident in a coma, videos of dumb drivers or similar hard hitting facts are good.

Keep up the good work you have going. I think the core problem in Norwalk and possibly elsewhere is that cars and truck traffic is out of control – clogged. So given the tip or chance, people will speed, find short cuts (Bayne Rd…) practice no cop = no stop and many other work arounds that there is no wonder someone is irate or getting hurt/killed. There are a lot of good people in Norwalk walking around in cement shoes, some of which are incorrectly being called naysayers but regardless, and as you know, the problem needs to be addressed.

Debora Goldstein July 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Sorry that none of the employees or electeds came prepared to answer the question about which intersection is the most dangerous. Here is something in the way of an answer, in case that individual is reading this.

WestCOG did a study of accident data in connection with the awarding of LRARP grants in 2017. At a meeting, they were provided a map which showed 2015-2016 accidents plotted and a data box that reported Norwalk had 12 fatalities and 1318 injury crashes.

While not identifying the most dangerous intersection, the map clearly shows that collectively, East Ave from the bridge to Exit 16 outstrips all other areas in frequency/seriousness of accidents.

I’ve posted the map for you to see for yourself at http://www.gatewayeastnorwalk.org/wp-content/uploads/Traffic-Map-Provided-to-WCCOG-in-2016.pdf

Sadly, the LRARP funds, awarded to Norwalk that year were applied by the City to an expensive bridge-strike mitigation solution in SOUTH Norwalk, and not accident reduction that would improve the safety of pedestrians and/or drivers in the far more dangerous area of EAST Norwalk. This is an area which, btw, the City is busy preparing with engineering and density changes that will have undocumented effects on safety along the East Avenue stretch.

I wrote about this apparent misuse of Local Road Accident Reduction Program (LRARP)funds in 2017 (https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2017/05/opinion-in-norwalk-bridge-strikes-arent-the-problem-lack-of-planning-is/). This is how the money was allocated (https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2018/08/norwalk-plans-450k-warning-system-for-sono-bridge/).

Just imagine how much we could have had to support safety mitigation measures under Vision Zero, if these funds had been used as intended.

Uncle Dave July 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm

It used to be if you drove the New Jersey Turnpike you were aware of the fact that they had a reputation for issuing speeding tickets. They did… As a young adult I lived in Bethel and there was one officer who had a thing for traffic violations. Folks avoided his sector if they had an issue with their car.
All Norwalk needs to do is develop a reputation for enforcing traffic laws and the situation will remedy itself.

Vernon Howard July 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm

I bring my dogs to Cranbury Park every afternoon for a walk on the trails and I’m almost hit at least once each day by someone improperly changing lanes, crossing the center line or pulling out in front of me. Not to mention the tailgating. I also see people on their phones all the time. Isn’t the fine like almost $200?!

Also the jaywalking in South Norwalk is out of control. I consistently see people walking out in front of cars, drivers not stopping at crosswalks for people to cross, kids on bikes not following traffic signals or riding their bikes right down the center of the street into oncoming traffic. These kids have a death wish or something.

I purchased a dash cam because of all this. I don’t want to be blamed for something that is not my fault, but we really need Norwalk PD to step up enforcement on all this. Everyday I drive around Norwalk I wonder if this is the day my 15-year no accident streak ends.

Red headed movie star July 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

About three years ago I was driving my car, with adult son in front seat and husband in back seat. I was on Osborne St headed North. I stopped at the red light at Van Zant St, when the light changed to green I hesitated and thank heavens I did…a car going well above the speed limit blew through the red light…If I had not hesitated we would have been killed!!
I now stop for yellow lights and of course for red lights.
I didn’t know Mike Hefferan but his death just solidified my safer driving habits.
Now, if not only drivers but pedestrians and cyclists would obey traffic laws.

Rusty Guardrail July 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Folks, no offense intended but you don’t seem to understand:

For decades, Norwalk police have never enforced any traffic laws, and there’s absolutely no reason to expect the police to start enforcing now.

The only exception is when there’s a short-term state-sponsored program like “Click It Or Ticket”.

Rusty Guardrail July 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Meanwhile, the reckless drivers out there endangering us all aren’t reading this article, and are unaware of your concerns.

Audrey Cozzarin July 2, 2019 at 8:52 am

Thank you all for your excellent comments, recommendations, experience. Would any of you like to join the Norwalk Citizens Traffic Safety Committee? If so, and for more details, please contact me at [email protected]. We can use all hands on deck.

Kevin Kane July 2, 2019 at 9:10 am

@Uncle Dave – one of the first things I noticed in Wilton is that Route 7 and the town center is loaded with cops. You can’t pay my tickets to drive over the speed limit. True the station is adjacent to that area but there are cops it seems strategically everywhere.
Not a bash on Norwalk PD but I think a heavy presence at random locations to nail anything that is breaking the law needs to happen. Not 3 cop cars – 12. Then report on it. Oh, and don’t announce it either like the DWI checkpoints are done.

Bobbie July 2, 2019 at 9:30 am

Kevin,
Your attack on the Bike/Walk Commission was out of line. You were a part of the commission but then bailed out when, perhaps, other parts of life became more important. You moved to Wilton. It is not fair to criticize the hard work of the members and other volunteers of this commission. They give a lot of their time to help make Norwalk a safer place to live and have accomplished a great deal.

Elsa Obuchowski July 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Re: East Ave between I-95 and the Metro-North bridge, one day last March, a couple of days after a snowfall, I walked to the station and found that the property owner of the vacant lot just north of Rite-Aid had not cleared the sidewalk at all. It was a sheet of ice that day so all pedestrians had to walk in the traffic lane. That lane itself was icy and of course full of cars that just exited I-95. I realize we have an app to notify Customer Service of an unsafe condition like that, but it was so cold I didn’t want to stop to get my phone out, not to mention being a sitting duck if I stood still in that icy traffic lane.

EnoPride July 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Kevin Kane… Thanks for your input, I think?? I was at the traffic safety meeting, and the Vision Zero proposal suggested for Norwalk shows great promise. Out of passion comes policy. Audrey Cozzarin, in honor of her dear friend whom she has lost due to another’s traffic violation, has succeeded in bringing state, local, police and passionate residents to the table to come together to proactively reexamine our policies and work toward solutions to our ever growing traffic issues. She has been highly effective thus far and is forming a task force, not a commission. All parties are onboard. We will all try our best on this challenging issue. While it is unfortunate that you had what you deem a not so great experience on a commission in Norwalk and left for your own reasons, and while I am sorry to hear that we lost you as a resident, we Norwalkers feel that our city is worth fighting hard for.

Every town has its issues. “Build the Wall” Wilton is not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Many here would say that moving to a segregated town is not to be aspired to, and is in fact moving backwards, no matter how good the schools are or how many police are on the road. To each his own. Wilton not too long ago made the news as one of the CT towns whose police pulls a higher percentage of minorities over at traffic stops. Good luck with that.

Brad Craighead July 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm

I am cautiously optimistic that the City of Norwalk will capitalize upon the public’s outcry for a material improvement in traffic safety and thus embark upon a comprehensive program that makes our city far more walkable and safe.

Thank you Audrey Cozzarin for taking the initiative with Vision Zero to bring a new perspective to this ongoing debate by empowering citizens to highlight specific traffic safety issues and facilitate partnership with City Officials to help solve these budding crises quickly and effectively.

The Norwalk Green Association is supportive of this effort and would like to highlight the area immediately around The Green – in addition to the East Avenue corridor – as examples that urgently require solutions to both slow down traffic and enable safe pedestrian passage across it’s many intersections.

Amongst Norwalk’s most densely populated neighborhoods (1000+ full time residents, 3 churches and a synagogue, numerous businesses and commercial enterprises, various cultural and charitable organizations – all within 5 mins walking distance of The Green), I can’t think of a better example of an area that requires immediate attention.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZYe_7WtyRMMdHOUcD0NT4qw7dGR9Ke-N/view?usp=drivesdk

A simple comparison between the number of traffic lights / crosswalks on West Avenue vs East Avenue is shocking (see map attached) which reveals that over a similar 1 mile stretch, West Avenue yields 13 traffic lights / crosswalks whereas East Avenue’s total is just 4.

How we got here isn’t relevant or the point, it’s our future that is at stake.

Thank you,

Brad Craighead
Norwalk Green Association

Leigh Grant July 8, 2019 at 12:15 pm

I think one way to avoid traffic accidents at T intersections is simply to paint the crosswalk lines on the left where the right turn on red lane doesn’t impact it. An example of a dangerous intersection with a crosswalk painted obliquely across the road so that it impacts the right turning lane is Main Ave. and Ward, near Bank of America and a small shopping center. I walk that way when leaving my car for repair up by Stew’s and am very concerned about safety on that corner. Is a fix any more than repainting the crosswalk lines and moving a sign?

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