Town officials say they plan to apply for a state grant that would fund the creation of a new sidewalk that would connect the top of Elm Street to Irwin Park.
The Board of Finance at its regular meeting Tuesday night will hear a request from town officials to apply for a $150,000 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development grant for the long-discussed project.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi noted that the sidewalk is in line with New Canaan’s Plan of Conservation and Development, in that it would help create a pedestrian-friendly connection between the business district and a town park.
The sidewalk would run along the west side of Weed Street and, according to preliminary engineering plans (see PDF below), could involve removing one row of maple trees and a tree stump, and relocating a set of mailboxes at Woods End Road.
The sidewalk wouldn’t run up against the roadway but would have a “grass shelf” between it and Weed Street, officials have said.
The engineering plan for the new sidewalk calls for a crosswalk from the south side of Elm where it comes into Weed, directly across the street to where the new sidewalk would begin. As traffic officials already have discussed, the town would additionally put in stop signs on Weed, creating a three-way stop there.
Michael Pastore, director of the Department of Public Works, said applying for the grant opens up options for New Canaan without burdening the tax base.
“It’s not putting the town in a position where we have to put up any money,” he said. “We get the grant, we can do it. We don’t get the grant, we don’t do it.”
The Town Council is expected to take up a vote on the matter at its Jan. 20 meeting—approval from both town bodies is needed in order to authorize officials to sign and submit the application. The Town Council sets aside time for public comment on matters before the legislative body.
The grant is administered by the Connecticut Office of Police Management, and qualifying applications include “planning or construction projects that demonstrate responsible growth through their consistency with” POCDs.