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Town Proposes Sidewalks [Poll]

Officials are looking to create miles-long walkway from the flagpole to the commuter lot by Exit 11 of Interstate 84.

The money may not be in place yet, but the plans are there to create a large walking loop that would allow someone to walk from the flagpole in the borough to the Interstate 84 commuter lot by Berkshire Road and Wasserman Way, Newtown officials said.

The has drawn up the map of the proposed sidewalk loop, and officials are awaiting news of whether they have qualified for a $500,000 Safe Route to Schools grant, which would allow them to kick off the project with a sidewalk along Queen Street and extend the downtown walkways on Church Hill Road from Wendover Road to the flagpole.

The town also is in line for another Department of Transportation grant that would allow it to extend sidewalks, first on Route 25 from where it ends on Glover Avenue to Mile Hill Road by Walgreens and then continuing on Mile Hill Road – which at some point changes to Wasserman Way – to Reed Intermediate School, Newtown Land Use Director George Benson said. The second extension would be along Church Hill Road from the borough to Sandy Hook Center, he said.

The final two legs of the plan, which at the moment doesn't yet have grant funding, would be a new walkway on Wasserman Way from Reed School to the commuter lot by Interstate 84's Exit 11, and connect it with yet another one on Berkshire Road from there to Sandy Hook Center.

In addition to sidewalks, the loop would have the potential to connect with an existing Deep Brook segment of an 11-mile Al's Trail, that runs from the Upper Paugussett state park to behind Reed School.

First Selectman Pat Llodra said she wants to gain public support for the plan as the town looks for ways to pay for the project, such as through grant funding and other means.

Hoa Nguyen January 07, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Having covered another town that went through a similar Safe Routes to Schools exercise, I can tell you that even though the town has applied for a grant, there are many more studies, public hearings and other procedures that must be followed before sidewalk construction begins. There will be a lot of other opportunities to discuss the specifics of any sidewalks. I think the overall point behind releasing this map was to get an idea from the public on whether this – the idea of having this large walking loop from the flagpole to the commuter lot – is something the community would support. I put the .pdf just to let everyone know about it, but obviously, the town will have to gauge on its own what the community support is.
onceuponanewtown January 08, 2012 at 01:02 PM
In some states sidewalks are assessed, financed and paid for by the individual property owners similar to sewers and water lines.
Po Murray January 08, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I recall completing a survey on whether or not I would allow my kids to walk to school. I was under the impression the survey was related to the application process for a grant. I would encourage another survey asking all school parents to provide their input on which side of the street (s) for sidewalk construction.
dave T January 08, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I fail to see how this equates to economical benefit....liability absolutely... from parents suing the town when their kids take a digger on their rollerblades reenacting their favorite scene from jackass.. or someone slips on ice. My road is a friggin goat path...fix the roads trim the trees if you have to do something, or A tax decrease instead would be much more welcome....
Scott Coleman January 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I may be a bit late to the discussion but I would suggest two things: 1. Given the propensity of people these days to drive everywhere, I would expand the definition of "sidewalk" to make it wide enough to safely and comfortably accommodate both pedestrian and bike traffic. I have traveled extensively across the US and internationally and seen some fantastic "non-motorized" routes that people can use to quickly and efficiently get from one place to another. By allowing bike traffic it will satisfy some of the impatience related to getting quickly from point a to point b that may not be satisfied by walking. 2. Additionally, as Chairman of the Newtown Trails Committee I would put emphasis on creating sidewalks that connect to existing trails (i.e. the Trail at Dickinson, trail at FFH) to create a true interconnected system. As a committee we continue to work towards that goal but thought it would be good to mention it in this discussion.

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