Once around the city: Norwalk’s bike/walk efforts lauded; TTD gives away bulbs; P2P looks to give away coats… plus, it’s going to be raining poetry

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Kaitlin Latham, Mayor’s Challenge coordinator and Health Education Associate at the Norwalk Health Department, who accepted the Mayor’s Challenge Award for the City of Norwalk. Photo courtesy of US Department of Transportation.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Kaitlin Latham, Mayor’s Challenge coordinator and Health Education Associate at the Norwalk Health Department, in Washington D.C. (Photo courtesy of US Department of Transportation.)

NORWALK, Conn. — An award to Norwalk for bicycle and pedestrian efforts, Columbus Day trash pickup, a winter coat drive, free light bulbs for 100 Third Taxing District customers and poetry raining onto South Norwalk sidewalks.


Norwalk Bike/Walk Task Force, Health Department, feel the love in D.C.

Mayor Harry Rilling and the City of Norwalk were honored at the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets Summit on Sept. 16 in Washington, D.C., according to a press release sent out Monday.

The Mayor’s Challenge Awards, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, recognized 14 cities across the country that have shown the most progress in improving bicycle and pedestrian safety over the past year and a half.

Norwalk was recognized as the small city winner for “Creating Networks,” highlighting the collaboration between Mayor Harry Rilling, the Mayor’s Bike/Walk Taskforce, and the Norwalk Health Department to create the City’s master bicycle plan and to improve the Health Department’s successful NorWALKer Routes program, the release said.

“My Bike/Walk Taskforce was formed with a mission of improving bicycling and pedestrian experience throughout the community. Safe streets that all can share improve the quality of life in a community and provide safety for all modes of transportation,” Rilling is quoted as saying in the release. “We are proud to be the leader of this endeavor and hopefully serve as a model for others to emulate.”

The Norwalk Health Department’s Health Education Associate and Mayor’s Challenge coordinator Kaitlin Latham accepted the award on behalf of Norwalk at the Summit.


TTD celebrating Public Power Week

The Third Taxing District is celebrating Public Power Week through Oct. 8, along with over 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to 48 million Americans, a press release said.

“Public Power Week celebrates the reliable, affordable electricity TTD provides to our community,” said TTD General Manager Jim Smith is quoted as saying in the release. “Public power puts the people of East Norwalk first, giving them a voice in the decisions made by the utility.”

Public power has been a tradition that works across the nation on behalf of its communities and customers for more than 130 years, the release said. Today, it is a thriving segment of the electric utility industry serving both small communities and large cities in every state except for Hawaii.

“For over 100 years, TTD has been proudly serving East Norwalk providing safe and low-cost service,” said Commission Chairman David Brown is quoted as saying.

TTD has organized the following events to commemorate Public Power Week:

  • LED Lightbulb Giveaway – TTD customers can receive one 2-pack of LED lightbulbs by stopping by the TTD office at 2 Second St., Wednesday, Oct. 5th through Friday, Oct. 7th. Supplies are limited to the first 100 customers – first-come, first served.
  • Marvin Elementary School Program – TTD staff members will present a program to students, K-5, at Marvin Elementary School on Friday. The program will be an interactive demonstration on how power lines transmit electricity to residences and businesses in the community.

Public Power Week is an annual national event coordinated by the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C.


Raining Poetry is coming to South Norwalk

Poems are expected to appear soon on South Norwalk sidewalks – but only when it’s raining.

The Norwalk Arts Commission is welcoming The Raining Poetry Project to SONO over the next few weeks, a press release said. Originally pioneered by Mass Poetry, a Boston nonprofit, The Raining Poetry Project uses special paint for stenciling poems (or fragments) of poems on sidewalks. The paint – and thus the poems – are only visible when it rains.

“This is a fun way to bring poetry to the street, connecting another type of art with the community,” Norwalk Arts Commission Chairwoman Susan Wallerstein is quoted as saying in the release, expressing appreciation for the support of area merchants and help from the Department of Public Works.

Norwalk’s poet laureate, Laurel Peterson, enlisted the help of 5ivefingaz and the #mygalleryisoutside collective to select the poems, create the stencils and paint them on the sidewalks, the release said. The poems will be appearing from Oct. 7-16 on North Main Street and Washington Street, and may last several months, depending on traffic and wear.

Peterson, Norwalk’s first poet laureate, is an English professor at Norwalk Community College and has two books of published poetry and a mystery novel.


Columbus Day garbage and recycling schedule – same as usual

Monday is Columbus Day but you don’t have to worry about any changes in your garbage and recycling pickup schedule. The city is following its regular schedule.

The Norwalk Transfer Station, located at 61 Crescent Street, and the Yard Debris Site, located at 15 South Smith Street, will be OPEN.


Person-to-Person kicks-off annual winter coat drive

Person-to-Person (P2P) is hosting its annual winter coat drive, in coordination with the mayor’s office and global skincare company Beiersdorf, according to a press release.

New or gently-used winter coats and jackets can be dropped off now through Oct. 21 at 76 South Main St. anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

More than 800 coats and jackets were distributed last year at the annual event.

Many P2P clients cannot afford the coats, hats, gloves, boots and scarves needed during the winter months, Susan Zelman, Norwalk P2P site manager, is quoted as saying in a press release.

“If people have jackets and coats they no longer want or need, or if their children have outgrown outerwear from last year, we hope they will consider bringing them to P2P for our neighbors in need,” Zelman is quoted as saying.

Anyone interested in organizing a coat drive at their school, house of worship or place of business can contact Zelman at 203-621-0703 or via [email protected].

All donations will be sorted by volunteers – including members of the Beiersdorf Cares Team – for distribution on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9 am to 1 pm in the Norwalk Police Department Community Room.

Beiersdorf’s local office has deep roots in the Norwalk community, the release said.



    I wonder if a representative from the U. S. Department of Transportation actually came to Norwalk to see what a disaster the bike lanes are. I also wonder if they are aware that the bike lanes have actually made it less safe for both bike and cars. One last point I wonder if the U. S. Department of Transportation is aware that the bike lanes are unused.

  2. Truth or Opinion

    Why is this one person always saying negative things about Norwalk? Are you a Stamford resident that’s jealous? Are you actually a car that hates the fact that we may one day not be dependent on fossil fuels? How can one person be so angry at paint? Do you need more hugs? Obviously you do. Please go hug yourself and see if you feel better.

  3. Gypsy

    Nobody wants these bike lanes, and nobody is using them. Get rid of them and make the cyclists reimburse the City for the wasted funds.

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