Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Connect Wilton train station to downtown

OK, this group is Livable Norwalk, not Livable Wilton, but we still care about our northern neighbor.

A bridge over the Norwalk River could connect downtown Wilton to the train station
How crazy is it that the Wilton train station is mere feet from downtown Wilton, but there is no connection? A 60 foot bridge over the Norwalk River is all it would take to allow the residents and businesses of Wilton to connect with direct trains to New York City.

Furthermore, the southern end of the station platform lines up exactly with the heart of downtown Wilton--the Village Market and Scoops Ice Cream area.

Some decisions on transit investment are complicated, but not this one. Connecting downtown Wilton with the train station is a no-brainer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New pictures of Norwalk now in Google Maps

Google Maps, my favorite online map site, has recently been updated with some great new aerial images of Norwalk.

Here's a tour:
Thanks to Livable Norwalk's advocacy, shoulders were added to Gregory Blvd in July.

Avalon's pool looks pretty sweet. At top is the esplanade Avalon built along the river. On the right is the new WHEELS hub, under construction.

The stretch of the Norwalk River Valley Trail through Mathews park (with the unfortunate new parking lot at the bottom of the picture, unused as always).

The 95/7 work-in-progress, with a relatively up-to-date look at the West Ave expansion.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fix 95, but help cyclists out too!

Dan Malloy and others at an anti-congestion press conference.
Source: Nancy Chapman, The Daily Norwalk

Our electeds, in office and aspiring, are pushing a project to extend the merge lane on I-95 southbound from US-7.

No argument here. The project would improve a hazardous merge.

However, it would be a shame to move this project forward without addressing the safety issue nearby...the businesses and jobs along Connecticut Ave are all but inaccessible by foot or bicycle.

Connecticut Ave has some of the worst pedestrian/bicycle accident rates in the city. Much of it lacks sidewalks, with DOT seemingly incapable of building them. Furthermore, we now have a brand-spanking new REI just a mile off the Norwalk River Valley Trail, with no good way to make that connection.

A bike path paralleling I-95 and Connecticut Ave could bring accessibility to scores of businesses and would be a logical spur of the developing Norwalk River Valley Trail.

In short, a bike trail connection makes sense and the project would perfectly parallel the planned work. Plus, when it's complete, I guarantee the bike trail will inspire appreciation that the road project could only dream of achieving.

Friday, October 8, 2010

REI opening this weekend

Saturday is a great day for Norwalk outdoors enthusiasts. REI Norwalk is opening its doors at 10am.

Welcome to the neighborhood, REI!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crossing the street in Norwalk

Two women crossing Westport Avenue demonstrate what is wrong with so much of Norwalk's pedestrian infrastructure. Crossing the road requires high alertness and, ultimately, speed.


This intersection, at an entrance to Stew Leonards, is one of many which has crosswalks on only three sides. Far from enticing pedestrians to cross the three sides with crosswalks, this configuration just makes it more dangerous for the pedestrians who don't get a crosswalk.

Walking around town should be a comfortable, enjoyable activity. This is what livability is all about. Instead, we have made walking dangerous and unpleasant, reducing the appeal of our town, harming our health and hindering our economic development.

Step 1: Let's put in the basic infrastructure of crosswalks and pedestrian signals!