|The Merritt 7 office complex is disconnected from the train station, nearby housing and even from businesses across the street.|
|The train station and the office complex...so close and yet so far.|
Commuters coming from Danbury or other points along the Route 7 corridor could, in theory, beat congestion and take the train. It stops literally a stone's throw from the office buildings. Unfortunately there is no way to get from the train station to the office buildings. Chain-link fencing and a high wall block the way.
These barriers combine to make walking impossible, so that even people living in the shadow of the office buildings can only reach them by driving.
Finally, the impression the Merritt 7 area makes on visiting business travelers is downright embarrassing. The walk from the Hilton, in particular, is missing stretches of sidewalk and requires walking through strip mall parking lots. I've even seen businesspeople walking in the roadway.
Norwalk can do better than this. Here's Livable Norwalk's plan to fix the Merritt 7 neighborhood.
- Connect the train station to the office complex. Seriously, how is it possible that these two things are disconnected?
- Build crosswalks and sidewalks along Main Avenue.
- Encourage redevelopment of the existing strip malls into more productive mixed-use by bringing the frontage up to the sidewalk and making it safe and appealing for people to live, work and shop here.
It's time to leverage the success of Merritt 7 as a jobs center to build a successful neighborhood as well.