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'Shared Lane' Planned For Norwalk's Beach Road

NORWALK, Conn. – It's likely you'll see an alteration on Norwalk's Beach Road soon, a change spurred by area cyclists, given the agenda for Monday's traffic commission meeting.

Item 5 is "approve the implementation of wide outside lanes (WOL), a.k.a Shared Roadways, a.k.a. sharrows, on Calf Pasture Beach Road from Marvin Street to the entrance of Calf Pasture Beach according to the attached plan." Sharrows are the city's version of a bike lane for the road.

Public input is on the agenda for Monday's meeting. Each speaker will get a maximum of three minutes. City officials have not provided details on when the city might repaint the road.

Activists had campaigned to change Calf Pasture Beach Road to one lane in each direction, a plan called a "road diet." But Public Works Director Hal Alvord said last month that a road diet would not work because there are buses that need to pull over, a mailman making deliveries and parents lining up to pick up children at Marvin Elementary School.

"Then it's not a vehicle free lane and we're giving people the wrong impression," Alvord said.

"There's some discussion in the professional circles that using the shared lane approach, it's a little easier to educate cyclists because they understand that they're sharing the roadway. They don't believe they're in this completely protected lane that nobody can touch them in," he said.

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