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Letter: Darien Residents Should Take Survey On Pedestrian, Cyclist Safety

Send your letters to the editor to Darien@dailyvoice.com.
Send your letters to the editor to Darien@dailyvoice.com. Photo Credit: Flickr user boetter

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

To the editor:

There has been a growing awareness of the importance of safe walking and bicycling on the streets of Darien. In particular, the Board of Selectmen and the Town’s Public Works Committee of the Representative Town Committee have demonstrated an interest in town assets and infrastructure relating to pedestrian safety.

Thus, the creation of the nine-member Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee. The work of the group is intended to broaden the outreach of the selectmen and engage the community in discussions regarding potential improvements to Darien’s existing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Recommendations made by the PIAC and adopted by the selectmen will be considered by the RTM during the 2016-17 budget process and incorporated in the 2016 update to the long- term Plan of Conservation and Development.

The rapidly growing interest in promoting safety and opportunities for walking or riding a bike is not only a local issue but shared by almost all urban and suburban communities. In these cities and towns, the conversations are no longer dominated by the issues involving vehicular traffic. Increasingly, the singular approach is replaced by the concept of what urban planners call “complete streets.”

For us, the issues are safe walking for students and commuters, sidewalk improvements for all pedestrians, enhanced safety at marked and unmarked crosswalks, incentives to “park and walk” and a focus on creating a network of routes along primary roads within the half-mile radius surrounding such ‘hot spots’ as schools, train stations, commercial centers and parks via a sidewalk master plan.

With the mandate of community engagement set by the selectmen in mind, the PIAC team recently developed a detailed pedestrian and bicycle safety survey available here . The website will be accessible until Nov. 1.

The many challenges falling under the headline of pedestrian and bicycle traffic are important subjects to all Darien families as we move toward “complete streets” -- and a “complete community.” The objective is to make pedestrian and bicycle traffic safer and, as always, to make our town the best place of residence anywhere.

Beth Harmon, PIAC Chair

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