|Mike Mushak lays out plans for the Harbor Loop Trail|
"Ride the Loop!". This was the call-to-action from Mike Mushak and David Westmoreland as they outlined the work they've done to chart the last steps needed to complete the Norwalk Harbor Loop Trail.
This trail has been on the books in the Harbor plan for 30 years, according to Mushak. Every time there is major construction on a harborfront property, another segment gets built. Combined with the work that's occurred for the Norwalk River Valley Trail, Norwalk is now tantalizingly close to having a complete 3-mile loop around its harbor.
This isn't one of those projects that may be completed for the next generation to enjoy. This is a project than can be completed now--this summer. Mushak has set July as a goal. He positions it as an economic stimulus plan for Norwalk.
But there is one big difference between the Harbor Loop stimulus plan and other more controversial plans...the Harbor Loop plan is crazy cheap. Our distance to the finish line can be measured in the thousands of dollars, not the millions.
In fact, the biggest piece missing is political action. We need to get our city leaders to push this project through to completion. There is one short segment of trail that will need to be built across the undeveloped embankment of an existing property. The city needs to push that easement forward. Some money should be set aside for wayfinding signage and paint on pavement.
We can soon have families walking and biking past Norwalk's major attractions: the aquarium, Stepping Stones museum, Lockwood Mathews, Wall Street, East Norwalk, SoNo. If we build it, they will come. We need every leader in Norwalk to help push us past the finish.
The Harbor Loop Trail route. Blue segments are trail that has been completed or will be this Spring. Purple segments are on-road. The red segment is the only missing link.