Officials Pursue Noise-Reduction Measures at Waveny Trails Near Merritt Parkway

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Dexter Dinan in Waveny near the Merritt Parkway. Credit: Michael Dinan

Officials say they’re looking at ways the town might partner with nonprofit agencies to reduce the noise along the southernmost trails at Waveny that run alongside the Merritt Parkway.

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Keith Richey during the appointed body’s July 13 meeting said he walks that stretch of trail often “and it’s so noisy.”

“Is there anything we can do like a bulldozer pushing earth up to create like a little embankment, or plant a bunch of spruces or do something?” Richey said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. 

His question came following an update from Waveny Park Conservancy Executive Director Phoebe Knowles.

During the update, she cited the Merritt Parkway trail and said “the town removed the really ugly chain link fence this year, which has improved the visuals down there so it looks beautiful.”

In response to Rickey’s question, Knowles and Parks & Recreation Director John Howe said several officials from the town, WPC and Merritt Parkway Conservancy had been out looking the area that very day.

The group was “trying to figure out who and how” to address the noise issue, Knowles said. The state Department of Transportation has a right-of-way that runs 90 feet from the center of the parkway, she said.

“I don’t know how far that comes in, but pretty close to the trails, so it will be a collaboration when we do that,” Knowles said. “But we had a nice starter meeting today.”

The next step is for the two nonprofit organizations to work together with the town and then approach the DOT with a proposal, she said.

7 thoughts on “Officials Pursue Noise-Reduction Measures at Waveny Trails Near Merritt Parkway

  1. Anything short of installing the noise reducing walls one sees on the interstate will probably not be effective. Sound intensity varies as the inverse square of distance, so the simplest and most natural solution is to reblaze the trail a 100 yards or so further north.

  2. Seriously???? Do we really need to spend a dollar on this? No. How much noise is there really? People are usually chatting, have their ear pods in or talking on the phone. Do they even really notice the noise? No. I have walked many times on the trails near the Merritt and noise really isn’t even an issue. Not every issue in New Canaan can be solved or fixed. This seems to be along the same lines as people complaining about getting their sneakers dirty walking on the trails. You are walking on trails in the woods. Dirt might happen. If you don’t like dirt, walk on South Avenue. Problem solved.

  3. Why not ask the state to re-route the Merritt Parkway? Honestly I’ve spent
    a fair amount of time on those trails over the years and have never felt that there was a noise issue. The sound of traffic to me is white noise.

    • Yeah, moving the Merritt is another option. But one eyeroll from the DOT for the proposal to build a half mile long replica of Offa’s Dyke is probably sufficient.

  4. I was surprised they didn’t put up a fence or some type of screening when they pulled out what was there. You can literally walk down to the Merritt without anything in the way from the trails.

  5. Mr. Little is correct. I have walked and run on the trail for many years. When they removed all of what was left of the chain link fences, it became obvious how close to the Merritt you really are. I realized that if someone lost control they could come directly into Waveny. There are areas where there are no trees to stop a car, and they are 10-15 feet away at 70 mph. You will never be able to control the noise, but it might not be a bad idea to have some kind of highway railing between the trail and the Merritt to divert a car if that should happen.

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