Town To Seek State Funding for Planned New Sidewalk for Talmadge Hill Commuters

Town officials are seeking state funds to pursue a long-sought sidewalk installation at Talmadge Hill that’s designed to improve pedestrian safety for rail commuters.

The estimated $350,000 project would see a new, five-foot-wide concrete sidewalk and granite curb run along the northern edge of Talmadge Hill Road from Route 106 up to and past the highest parking tier above the heavily used railroad station, according to Public Works Director Tiger Man.

It would replace and extend what’s there now, a blacktop sidewalk with a blacktop curb, Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting Wednesday.

“This has been an area that people have asked for for a number of years,” Mann said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

Before and after work, scores of rail commuters make their way to and from the platform at Talmadge Hill, between cars parked in the lots as well as idling cars that pull over on the narrow road to drop them off and pick them up.

New Canaan is seeking the funds through the Connecticut Department of Transportation-administered Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program.

The board—First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams—voted 3-0 to green-light an application for funds.

Mallozzi said he’s “reasonably positive we will get it,” as New Canaan originally had a $2 million request for funds to support a plan to deck the Locust Avenue parking lot—scuttled, at least for now—which did not come through.

According to Mallozzi, the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, or ‘WestCOG,’ “was cognizant of the effort that we put into making a good case and said, ‘Listen you’re not going to get the $2 million but put in for something else and we will stand behind the town of New Canaan at the state level and try to get you funding for something.’ ”

“And Tiger really worked this hard and this was something I have been talking about for six years,” Mallozzi said.

He added: “It will be a nice addition over there for the Talmadge Hill commuters.”

Williams asked whether the $350,000 would cover the entire project (yes) and what the timing was (hopefully next spring).

Jones said she visited the Talmadge Hill train station and was “so surprised how people are constantly crossing the tracks there instead of using the sidewalk.”

Mann said Metro-North Railroad also is concerned about that practice and sometimes stations its officers there “because we have people cutting there under the barricades as the gate is closed, still running underneath the gate.”

Jones said that at some point, perhaps Talmadge Hill could get a platform on the east side of the tracks, as well.

2 thoughts on “Town To Seek State Funding for Planned New Sidewalk for Talmadge Hill Commuters

  1. Why do all the sidewalks need granite curbing? I have to imagine it adds a lot of cost to the project and I am not sure the supposed durability is worth the cost

  2. As a frequent Talmadge Hill patron I appreciate the town’s effort to improve the station. The current sloping asphalt sidewalk is hard to plow and when coated with snow and ice hard to navigate. Thank you Tiger, Penny, and Rob for your persistence on this effort. The MTA’s budget woes mean the platform won’t get a shelter, so this is a good start. The cost of an additional parking spots are far more than a side walk, so this is a “smart” investment if it will encourage even a few more walkers

    This article highlights Darien’s interest in connecting to a Talmadge hill sidewalk
    http://www.dariennewsonline.com/local/article/Darien-continues-to-piece-together-Hoyt-Street-3605532.php

    It is good to learn they are willing to push the ends of the sidewalk down to the crosswalk at 106 and around the blind curve at the top of the hill.

    While the granite curb may sound indulgent, there is some rational that it is less expensive in the longer run.
    http://www.dot.ri.gov/documents/about/research/Granite_Curb.pdf

    Adding buried conduit for lighting is something I believe the town should consider when they’ve dug up the roadway so path lighting can be added for safety.

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