Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beach Road Safety is about more than cyclists

Cars driving next to this sidewalk regularly hit 50 mph.
Safety is a widely-acknowledged concern on Calf Pasture Beach Road. Neighbors along the street have complained about speeding for years. Livable Norwalk's study confirmed that cars regularly travel more than double the 25 mph limit.

For a street that fronts an elementary school and people's homes and that is popular with joggers and cyclists, its design is simply crazy. It is an orphan highway, a four-lane road connecting the two lanes to and from Calf Pasture Beach with the two lanes at Gregory Boulevard. But this stretch of orphan highway needlessly terrifies school kids, walkers, joggers and cyclists every day.

The city has hired two different consultants who have looked at the Beach road. Both have recommended calming traffic using bike lanes.

The passing lane could be eliminated, an 8 foot bike lane added and a 4 foot buffer painted between the bike lane and the car lane. This would calm traffic by mitigating the highway-like feel of the road. It would make it safer for kids crossing the street to get to school. It would protect cyclists. And, for sidewalk users like the girl pictured, they would have 12 feet more space protecting them from traffic.

This is not just a project for cyclists. This is a project for everybody and that is why it has won such widespread community support. Now, if we could only convince the mayor...

It helps if he hears why beach road safety is important to you. Please email Mayor Moccia at RMoccia@norwalkct.org.

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