NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk residents would like to see more sidewalks and better walking conditions throughout the city, readers of The Norwalk Daily Voice said.
More than 35 of our readers responded to a question we asked on Facebook regarding where residents would like to see sidewalks installed and which ones need repair.
“I would love to see all ‘main’ roads in Norwalk with continuous sidewalks in good repair,” wrote Keri Stanislawscyk Arpino. “The West Rocks Road sidewalk very much needs repair and needs to be monitored for shoveling snow so kids can walk to school safely. Any street connecting West Rocks with Main Avenue should have sidewalks as walking to the grocery store is not a safe option the way things are now. Connecticut Avenue has spots with no sidewalk and I see people often trying to get from place to place on foot, and they’re taking their lives into their hands.”
Amelia Miller Coffey agreed about Connecticut Avenue. “Connecticut Avenue. Hard to comprehend why there is not a contiguous sidewalk. I feel badly for those who do not have a car. I've been there and it is no easy way to live.”
Bonnie Fraser suggested another part of the city that has sidewalks that need work. “Spring Hill needs a major overhaul. Lots of pedestrian traffic but what sidewalks they have need repair.”
Norwalk currently has 140 miles of sidewalks throughout the city, most of which is in the “urban core,” according to Harold Alvord, director of the city’s Department of Public Works. He said a lot of it needs work.
“A lot of our sidewalks are in pretty bad shape,” he said.
The department requested $500,000 for sidewalk repair in the city’s 2013-14 capital budget, but Alvord said that typically, the city can only afford to allocate about half that amount each year. That amount can only pay for emergency repair, not the installation of new sections.
“Just to pay for the repairs to all of the city’s sidewalks would cost tens of millions of dollars,” Alvord said.
But that doesn’t stop residents from asking.
Alvord said he is not surprised by the amount of interest the question generated. “We receive requests all the time for sidewalks, from virtually every part of the city," he said.
According to Silvia Doyle, sidewalks are needed in Rowayton. “Roton Avenue on the way to Bayley Beach. Children walk and ride their bikes on the way to the beach," she wrote. "The folks that drive to Weeburn Country Club seem to think the road is a highway.”
Joe Visciglia said West Norwalk needs sidewalks too. “Hunters Lane. This road leads you up to Ponus Ridge Middle School and there is no sidewalk from the school all the way to Ponus Avenue.”