|WHAT COULD BE: A cemetery loop that functions as a "downtown East Norwalk", appealing to people and businesses, replete with public spaces and places to walk.||CURRENTLY: High-speed one-way traffic and a neighborhood that lacks vitality.|
One of the biggest barriers to pedestrian and bicycle movement in East Norwalk is the Cemetery Loop. Several moderately-trafficked two-lane streets converge on this high-speed raceway around the historic cemetery. Inside that cemetery is the burial place of Col. Thomas Fitch, the original Yankee Doodle, a potential tourist attraction unreachable due to the nature of the street. The dangerous design also hurts the area's retail and residential property values by reducing walkability and connectivity to the East Norwalk train station.
But enough about what's wrong...the question is, what can be done to revitalize the area? Here is the Livable Norwalk proposal, visualized above.
- All streets returned to two-way operation.
- Gregory Blvd connects directly with East Ave.
- New crosswalks plus a path through the cemetery create pedestrian connectivity.
- New public spaces are created at intersections to the north, southeast and east of the cemetery, reclaiming land now lost to asphalt.
- A modern roundabout is installed at the intersection of East Ave and Winfield St (Rt 136) to reduce the backup from the signalized intersection. This will also calm traffic entering the cemetery area.
|Thomas "Yankee Doodle" Fitch wants more visitors. (from Matthew Fatale via findagrave.com)|
The best part about this plan is that it is relatively inexpensive, primarily involving curbing work and existing entirely within the publicly-owned right-of-way. Its price-tag would certainly be less than $1 million, comparing favorably with the $5 million plan to widen East Avenue while having a much more transformative impact on the neighborhood.