‘This Is Really Dangerous’: New Trail Proposed To Get Pedestrians Off Main Road through Waveny


Officials say they’re planning to extend a trail in Waveny that starts near the South Avenue entrance and follows the park’s main road up toward Waveny House, so that pedestrians aren’t forced into the roadway.

As it is now, those who walk or run on the trail are forced when it ends at the Carriage Barn access road to vie with passing cars, members of the Park & Recreation Commission said at their meeting Wednesday night.

“This is really dangerous,” Sally Campbell, the commission’s chairman, said during the group’s regular meeting, held in the Douglas Room at Lapham Community Center.

What’s been proposed is a zigzagging “switchback” trail that would allow people to climb a wooded hill there, bringing them out at the far side of a parking area that’s far less dangerous for pedestrians, commissioners said.

The trail extension has been recommended by the Waveny Park Conservancy and Tiger Mann, assistant director of the Department of Public Works, has mapped out a way to get it done and would put the project in his own capital budget, according to Campbell.

The situation is so dangerous now for pedestrians that the trail extension is an even higher priority than another long-proposed trail at Waveny, Campbell said, along the access road to Lapham Community Center.

Recreation Director Steve Benko disagreed.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “We’re going to have somebody get killed out here.”

Campbell replied: “I think they’ll get killed [at] both places.”

Benko noted that those seeking an entirely pedestrian-friendly route from the South Avenue entrance to Waveny House can cut into the park and cross the “corn fields” then head up toward the house on Mosley Hill.

Campbell said the problem now is that people are walking in the main road “all the time” for lack of a trail, and in both directions.

“I think the point is, we as a commission need to stress this and put it in the budget,” she said.

It’s also been dangerous just inside the South Avenue entrance to the park, with motorists pulling in and immediately coming upon pedestrians using a newly striped crosswalk, commissioners said.

According to Benko, a crosswalk stanchion had been placed in the roadway to alert motorists to those crossing the main road, but it’s been “hit by cars several times.”

“People don’t see it,” Benko said.

Commissioner Francesca Segalas said that when motorists stop at the crosswalk, it can back up traffic toward the entrance to Waveny and then become a danger to northbound motorists who go to cross the oncoming traffic lane and enter the park, but are unable to do so because of the cars in front of them.

The stanchion is coming out next week, Benko said.

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