On Facebook: Norwalk Residents Want More Sidewalks

  • Comments (9)
Most of Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk has sidewalks, but there are sections without them. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

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.”

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Comments (9)

Kathy Sasloe:

I would love to see Newtown Avenue, East Rocks Road fixed up. And while we're talking about sidewalk repair, it is up to the homeowner to shovel their sidewalk when it snows.

kybrdplyr:

Joe Espo, Your comment has inspired me so much, I will, I will report this to my Councilperson (how do you know I have not already?) It is not "whining" to express genuine concern and give specific details about an amenity that is truly needed, especially when it is to protect our children and the handi-capped. I would think that as a citizen of Norwalk and assuming you are concerned about the less fortunate, you would encourage such "whining" so that a serious issue could be seriously addressed. Be nice.

Joe Espo:

There will be hearings on the capital budget until April. That's where the city puts borrowed money toward sidewalks. If you want sidewalks, stop whining and go to the hearings and write, call, visit your council person.

Paige:

Joe, it's a good suggestion, but it's also important to remember that Norwalk does not have totally control of some of the main arteries. Connecticut Avenue is also U.S. Route 1 and sadly, the City has to ask the State's permission for virtually anything that is done to that road. Currently, the State is working on widening I-95 and they have plans for the area between Fairfield Avenue and Exit 14. I haven't heard of anything planned for the area by the Darinor Shopping Center (Wendy's), but that doesn't mean there isn't something in the works. There's some wetlands there along with high tension wires, which will complicate matters.

One thing that I would like to say is that a new sidewalk has been installed along Calf Pasture Beach Road in front of Marvin Elementary School. Sidewalks are also being installed along Westport Avenue (Route 1) in front of Burger King and as far as Hank May's Auto Body. I'm not sure how far that project will go. So work is being done, not nearly as fast as I would like it, but then again, government is not known for speed.

kybrdplyr:

And yet, 3.1 millon dollars already loaned plus another $150,000 is being requested by the Oak Hills Park Authority for the mis-managed GOLF course. These sidewalks are urgently needed for the safety of the handi-capped and children and young people walking to school. And yet, only $250,000 when all is said and done can be allocated by the Department of Public Works for inconsistent and inadequate sidewalk repairs???

Where are our values? Why is GOLF more important than sidewalks? I am a Norwalk taxpayer who says it should abosolutely not be.

Paige:

When my son was attending NCC, he would often walk home along Route 1, which scared the daylights out of me, particularly when I knew he would be down by Exit 14. Finally, I showed him the back roads that would bring him out by Taylor Avenue. I think there were sidewalks all the way. It was a bit challenging in the winter if the sidewalks weren't plowed, but I felt he was much safer.

Broad River:

I used to walk from Richards Ave where Old Mc Donald's Farm used to be to the Hospital on Maple Av from 76-77 about 6:30 in the morning, it was awful. I can't imagaine being handicapped out on U.S.1. 35 years and nothing has changed except the traffic.

MR.M:

It is not worth risking your life in order to get to a lot of places on Connecticut Avenue. Broad River, sitting on a "handicap scooter" while trying to get to Dunkin Donuts from the west is unnerving, trust me.
With the property tax I pay each year on my condo and all the tax revenue that Norwalk gets from the businesses on Connecticut Avenue, it just needs to addressed. PROBLEM

Broad River:

If all the roads with double yellow lines had a sidewalk on just one side it would be a 1000% improvement. Doesn't the State have some responsibility in this? It makes me want to scream when there is a motorized wheelchair or handicap scooter out in the road, especially where there isn't a fog line / breakdown lane. The photo above says it all about half of the places there should be sidewalks and look, utility poles! Ridiculous.

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