Town To Vote Tuesday on Contract for Elm-to-Irwin Sidewalk; Dog Waste a Persistent Problem at Park

Town officials on Tuesday will vote on whether to approve a $127,748 contract with a Norwalk-based construction company to create a long-discussed new sidewalk that will run from the top of Elm Street to the entrance of Irwin Park.

Approved by the Town Council in the fall, the sidewalk will be anchored by crosswalks at either end and run about 5,000 feet along the west side of Weed Street. About six trees fronting the road have been tagged for removal. The Board of Selectmen at its March 21 meeting will vote on a contract between the town’s Department of Public Works and M. Rondano Construction.

Meanwhile, parks officials say they’re facing a recurring and persistent problem at Irwin: Dog waste.

Parks & Recreation Commission Sally Campbell at the group’s March 8 meeting said the “big issue” at the Weed Street park is people who do not pick up after their dogs.

Commissioner Gene Goodman added that many people pick up after their pet but leave the bag of waste behind instead of carrying it to a garbage bin.

Recreation Director Steve Benko said during the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center, that the problem is not people who park at Irwin to walk their dogs but neighborhood residents who “toss the bag into the woods by the lower path” off of Wahackme Road.

Commissioner Jason Milligan asked whether it would be possible to fund an additional garbage can.

Benko said: “The problem with a garbage can is that once they are filled they weigh a ton.”

The commission also discussed whether it would be possible to up the fee for failing to pick up after a dog.

Town officials for years have eyed the sidewalk project as a way to connect the downtown to a public park, an objective identified in the 2014 Plan of Conservation and Development.

The town’s plans pursuit of the sidewalk installation ramped up after the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management in June awarded New Canaan a $150,000 grant for the project.

An 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.

DPW officials have said a second set of crosswalks likely would run from the northeastern corner of Irwin Park, straight across Wahackme Road and then across Weed Street.

One thought on “Town To Vote Tuesday on Contract for Elm-to-Irwin Sidewalk; Dog Waste a Persistent Problem at Park

  1. Very exciting to see the town’s park investment tied into the town’s core. This will connect a series of cul-de-sacs to downtown businesses.

    Its also relevant to point out that this sidewalk will enable a loop with the pending investment in the property that will connect Irwin Park to the Nature Center.

    The Pine Street Side walk to be built this summer will mean that families can walk from Zumbachs to Mead Park and Irwin Park.

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