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Norwalk Council members ponder DPW issues, Gardella beach easement

Norwalk Common Council Recreation and Parks Committee Chairwoman Darlene Young (D-District B) asks about Water Street flooding, Tuesday in City Hall. At left is Council member Tom Livingston (D-District E).

NORWALK, Conn. – Tuesday night’s joint meeting of the Common Council Public Works Committee and Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs Committee sorted out some issues:

  • ‘Adaptive’ traffic signals for West Avenue
  • Drain Cleaning
  • Gardella Marina/Calf Pasture plan being reviewed

 

 

Additional West Avenue adaptive traffic signals

The Public Works Committee advance a $30,000 contract for Boston-based engineering firm VHB Inc. to design seven “adaptive” traffic signals on West Avenue, north of Maple Street.  Adaptive traffic signals’ timing adjusts to real-time traffic conditions as opposed to signals programmed for specific time frames.

A state grant will fund the construction and installation of the new signals at an estimated cost of $400,000.  Several Committee members noted that the seven adaptive signals already in operation on West Avenue south of Maple Street have reduced speeding and enabled a smoother traffic flow.  The new construction is anticipated for late 2020.

 

 

Drain Cleaning

The Committee advanced $515,680 for drain cleaning by National Water Main Cleaning Company.  It was stated that certain hard-to-access drains periodically need a more thorough purge than the Department of Public Works can accomplish, and that several years have passed since the last heavy cleaning.   Areas said to be most affected by these difficult drains include Surrey Drive, West Cedar Street, Scribner Avenue, Hunters Lane, and Andrews Field.  When Recreation and Parks Committee Chairwoman Darlene Young (D-District B) mentioned North Water Street flooding, a DPW representative replied that Water Street’s problem is not caused by clogged drains.

 

 

Still no decision on Gardella Marina/Calf Pasture plan

After hearing architect Scott Ross of Boston-based Landwise Advisors reiterate Gardella Brothers’ 2-year old proposal to redevelop Cove Marina “to “keep up with new boating trends” and to alter Calf Pasture Beach’s roadways, the Committees requested more information, deferring any decisions until after a public hearing slated for Jan. 7.

 

“When this was first presented to us several years ago, it was part of a large-scale development,” remarked District C Council member John Kydes.  Ross replied that that the proposed $20 million marina reconfiguration would yield surplus land which would be repurposed to pay for that reconfiguration.

 

“There is not a master plan,” he said, “because the Gardellas are not developers.  The marina is at the heart of this, and the rest will come in subsequent proposals.”   Alluding to the potential for “waterfront retail, restaurants, housing, hotels and mixed use” Ross emphasized that Cove “has the potential to be the top destination marina on Long Island Sound, but it’s lacking amenities at the moment, and the Gardellas will try to bring those in.”

7 comments

The Norwalker December 4, 2019 at 6:53 am

The only acceptable changes to Calf Pasture or any park in Norwalk would be to increase the the size and amount of Parks in Norwalk.

Too many Neighborhoods in Norwalk have no Parks to use except school grounds when school is not in session.

John ONeill December 4, 2019 at 9:36 am

Speaking on Calf Pasture Beach – Does anyone have the final revenue numbers for gate receipts at Calf Pasture?

Bryan Meek December 4, 2019 at 10:34 am

Several of the lights north of Maple on West Ave were just recently installed but now we need to install ones that work. Ok.

No wonder why we need toll revenues.

The light on Butler is broken too, while you are at it.

And remember when DPW used to clean all of its drains? This is what happens when you spend $75k for a crosswalk and other goodies no one really needs.

Mimi Chang December 5, 2019 at 10:31 am

@Scott Vetare, Agree about the light timing on East Avenue. We have also discovered another roadblock on the stretch of East Avenue near Exit 16. Very large food and product delivery trucks use the right lane heading toward Exit 16 across from Dunkin Donuts as a parking space. Yes, they actually park their truck in the right lane, put their hazards on, and hop across the street on into DD to grab a coffee and food, while their truck blocks the lane off for fifteen minutes or so, and oncoming vehicles almost drive into the back of the truck because they sometimes do not realize it is unoccupied and stopped dead in their lane. The oncoming vehicles either form a traffic jam behind the truck, or if they can, they swerve around the truck into the left lane, clogging up that lane. Many people have witnessed this practice. It has become commonplace.

I called this phenomenon in to the police after I saw a car almost slam into the back of a truck blocking the right lane, swerve to the left lane to avoid it, and almost hit another car, which would have caused a chain reaction involving more queued up vehicles. The policeman with whom I spoke said that yes, the truckers park in the road because their trucks are too large to fit in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot! I guess he is fine with this arrangement.

Imagine how much worse East Avenue traffic will be after we get four separate apartment complexes in East Norwalk by the train tracks. That isn’t even counting the apartment units occupied by NY license plate residents which were shoehorned in next to Dunkin Donuts on East Avenue. We will be hit with the train station apartments, now two more proposed sets of apartment buildings who preferred developers are already inquiring about, and we have recently learned that it’s fair to say DiScala is likely going to develop his Wells Fargo lot as apartments in the future. So much for the public’s wish at the visioning workshops for a village feel with a higher ratio of services! No traffic study of East Avenue and perpendicular streets between the RR trellis and Exit 16 as of yet, according to P&Z and Harriman Consultants at the proposal presentation to the public. Only the roads in the tighter perimeter around the East Avenue Train Station TOD have been studied. I recall a consultant from MA a while back say in a meeting that the tight road behind the train station project could feasibly be a problem which creates back up traffic onto other streets. If she voiced a finding of impact, why then is City Hall not concerned for us?

I hope East Norwalkers show up to tonight’s meeting to hear firsthand that our neighborhood is now officially on the chopping block. We were assured at the proposal meeting by consultant Mr. Cecil that we had a say in how this all goes, and that if we were not pleased with the proposal, then we should “stay in it” and voice our concerns at upcoming meetings. TOD development done right is positive and necessary, but this proposal for our neighborhood is overkill and yet one more example of cart before the horse planning, disregarding egregious traffic issues and subsequently quality of life for existing East Norwalkers. Remember, many of these consultants, planners and developers don’t live here and navigate the traffic, but we East Norwalkers have to!

Doubt it December 9, 2019 at 8:43 am

“Alluding to the potential for “waterfront retail, restaurants, housing, hotels and mixed use” Ross emphasized that Cove “has the potential to be the top destination marina on Long Island Sound,”

Sounds like they’re planning a mall.

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