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Letter: 'Test and Learn' on Calf Pasture Beach Road

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to

To the Editor,

The strong turnout at last week's hearing by the Department of the Common Council Public Works Committee – including the presentation to the committee of more than 400 petition signatures – demonstrated that there is a growing consensus for the city to act swiftly to fix the safety problems along Calf Pasture Beach Road.

More than 100 Norwalkers filled the chambers, most wearing buttons that said "Let's Make Beach Road Safe." All of the more than 30 speakers who offered comments to the committee agreed that measures need to be taken to make Calf Pasture Beach Road less dangerous for pedestrians, joggers, bikers, kids, families and other non-vehicular traffic. Overwhelmingly, the speakers and the audience favored the call to reduce Calf Pasture Beach Road from its present four lane highway configuration to two lanes, and to create dedicated safety lanes, as the city's several paid traffic planning consultants have already recommended.

Many excellent ideas were offered for improving the sidewalks and for eventually creating a bike and pedestrian lane on the east side of the road along Taylor Farm. While we support these ideas, we believe they represent costly and time-consuming fixes that will not address the growing safety problem in time to prevent a serious injury or accident.

We therefore call upon the city to give priority to a "test and learn" program this summer. A test and learn program would experiment with the use of traffic cones, painted lines, barriers, and plantings to "calm traffic" and provide safe pathways for non-motorized use. Under the test and learn scenario, police would be able to temporarily restore the four-lane highway configuration in order to accommodate increased car traffic during major events such as the Fourth of July, car shows and boat shows.

We thank the committee for holding the hearing and we congratulate our neighbors for making a strong showing, speaking eloquently in favor of dedicated safety lanes on the beach road, and demonstrating that we can work together to make our wonderful city an even better place to live, work and play. To sign the petition, send a letter to the Mayor and the Council or to learn more, please visit our website.

Councilman David McCarthy, chairman of the DPW Committee, confirmed many of the facts stated above about last week's meeting, which he organized. He said in an email, "It does seem that most people had buttons. Everyone did seem to agree that the road could be made safer, though there were a large number of ideas and opinions, all of which were valid."

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