Conceptual Plan, Funding for Elm-to-Irwin Sidewalk Discussed

 

Should New Canaan pursue installation of a sidewalk between Elm Street and Irwin Park, the town likely would look hard at bonding the project and bringing stop signs to the intersection at Weed and Elm, officials say.

Conceptual plans for the approximately $130,000 project have been drawn up, though no funding exists for it, Department of Public Works officials confirmed at the March 19 meeting of the Town Council, held in the Visitors Center at the New Canaan Nature Center.

There, asked by council members which side of Weed Street the sidewalk would run along, DPW Assistant Director Tiger Mann said the western side (the same as Irwin itself).

New Canaan Department of Public Works Assistant Director Tiger Mann (L) and Michael Pastore (R) at a March 2014 meeting of the Town Council, held at the New Canaan Nature Center's Visitors Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaan Department of Public Works Assistant Director Tiger Mann (L) and Michael Pastore (R) at a March 2014 meeting of the Town Council, held at the New Canaan Nature Center's Visitors Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

“The original plan had it going from Elm Street to the second driveway, the northern drive,” Mann said. “But since the new trail was installed across the great lawn, now it stops at the southern driveway.”

The discussion arose during the department’s presentation for this budget season.

Council member John Emert noted that some of the trees along the western side of Weed between Elm and Irwin “aren’t in great shape.”

“Yes, and several have been removed since the original inception,” Mann said, “but the other side is equally problematic. Then the problem is that we would have a midblock crosswalk to get across to the park. It’s much better to do it at the intersection. Part of the plan proposes to have a stop sign at Mead and Elm.”

Both the New Canaan Police Commission and state would need to green light that change, Mann said.

Town Council Vice Chair Steve Karl said that if ever the time came to open up a discussion about funding the project in earnest, it would make sense to look into bonding.

“If we are going to do it, it seems like it [the sidewalk] would be there for a while, so that’s perfect for bonding,” he said.

Here’s a map of the area:

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