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Letter: Darien Needs Better Pedestrian Safety Plan

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Darien Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send letters to darien@dailyvoice.com.

To The Editor:

Despite years of neighborhood advocacy in Darien, the Board of Selectmen has yet to put into action any real comprehensive plan for pedestrian safety projects. The three United members dominating the past four years of decision-making have made no indication that safety projects are proceeding in an efficient manner or that a facts-based priority system even exists. No project funding for new sidewalks was requested in recent budget cycles, no Sidewalk Advisory Committee was formed, and no directive to the Planning Department has been put forward to get ideas on paper and projects out for engineering and bid. The state of this initiative leaves any reasonable taxpaying citizen to wonder if more time is being spent on the politics of obstruction rather than leadership and real tangible progress.

Exactly two years ago at the LWV debate, our first selectman was asked, “what will your top priority be during your first year in office?” and the response was, "…In terms of service priorities, obviously first and foremost must come public health and safety...” Sadly, this has not come to pass. Our town has witnessed a successful Transfer Station Advisory Committee to pursue recycling, but very little has been completed for pedestrians, despite well documented danger zones near public transit, schools and parks. Follow-through on the idea for a Sidewalk Advisory Committee by the Selectmen would enable the Police and Department of Public Works and Planning Department to help define an appropriate network of bike lanes, sidewalks, signage and crosswalk locations, and to plan and budget for these projects to proceed starting immediately

The state of our town leadership for the next two years is essentially predetermined. A United trio will return and two new candidates will be in the same position as their predecessors. As an Independent, the effects party politics are having on our government dismay me. As a mother and commuter, I care a lot about how little is being done regarding pedestrian safety. The level of resistance to the efforts to help enact change are concerning.

Holly Schulz 543 Hoyt Street

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