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Letter: Urge Norwalk Mayor to 'Test and Learn'

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk.DailyVoice.com accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be e-mailed to letters@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor,

The June 12 meeting of the Norwalk Common Council was a major step forward in the effort to make Calf Pasture Beach Road safe for everyone: school children, families, walkers, joggers, cyclists and motorists.

A resolution to adopt a "test and learn" experiment featuring temporary safety lanes was discussed in a serious and substantive way by the council; a majority of the members voiced support for the idea in one form or another. Most of the public speakers who rose from the audience also offered constructive comments in support. Clearly, there is a strong, growing and sustained desire in our city to make the beach road safe.

But our efforts are not yet finished. The test and learn resolution was sent back to the Department of Public Works Committee for revisions. And it appears that it will ultimately wind up in front of the city's three-member Traffic Authority. Mayor Moccia, who, unfortunately, is on record in opposition to test and learn or any kind of safety lanes along the beach road, is one of the three authority members.

The good news is that test and learn is a common sense, low cost and highly flexible approach to finding the right solution for the beach road. It creates two lanes in each direction of the beach road, one for cars and one for everyone else. It can easily be reconfigured to accommodate traffic during busy events, like the Fourth of July.

The mayor has called for using road signs called "sharrows" (for shared road). But sharrows aren't effective on highway configurations that invite speeding, as does the beach road. Council members Bondi, Hempstead, Kydes and McCarthy support the alternative of taking parkland to make wider sidewalks and bike lanes. This represents a million dollar project, however, at a time when Norwalk is strapped for cash. In addition to being costly it will take years to complete; it does not address the immediate and growing safety issue.

We endorse the test and learn program as the least expensive, most flexible and fastest means of a making the beach road safe for everyone as soon as possible. It is important that everyone who shares this view continue to let the full council, the DPW committee, the Traffic Authority and Mayor Moccia know that Norwalk's residents are serious about beach road safety.

To this end, we urge everyone who has not signed the online petition and sent a letter to the council and the mayor to do so today. Please visit http://beachroadsafety.org/petition , If you have already signed on, please encourage your neighbors and friends to do so as well.

Let your elected officials know that you care about beach road safety in Norwalk. Let your voice be heard.

The Beach Road Safety Group is Paul Zullo, David Marcus, Ed Panian,Esme Lombard, Peter Libre, Jonathan Cohen

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