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Hoyt Street Residents Frustrated by Sidewalk Delay

DARIEN, Conn. – Residents in the Hoyt Street neighborhood are still waiting for sidewalks to make the trip to the Talmadge Hill train station in New Canaan safer for pedestrians.

At a meeting of Darien's Board of Selectmen on Monday night, several residents stood up to once again ask the board to take action on sidewalks, a walking path or crosswalks that would eliminate some of the danger posed to pedestrians on the busy road.

“I have grave concerns about the safety on the street,” said resident Peter Firmin. Despite the best efforts of police, he said he constantly sees drivers going way too fast and talking on their cell phones while driving. Firmin walked around the neighborhood this weekend, talking to people. Everyone he spoke with supports the sidewalks.

“It’s a very, very dangerous situation, and somebody will get hurt.”

Baye Larsen said proximity to the train station was one of the reasons she and her husband moved to Darien in May. She currently walks with two flashers on her purse when she goes to the train station out of fear that cars will hit her.

“I think a sidewalk would be a long-term investment in the town, which I truly believe will pay off,” Larsen said.

The town is looking to add more lights, and introduced a few plans to add bulbs to every post on the street, with the help of Connecticut Light & Power. However, Hoyt Street resident and RTM member Holly Schulz said that it was not enough.

“I don’t think floodlighting Hoyt Street like a stadium is going to make it any safer for pedestrians,” Schulz said. She said the project should be undertaken all at once, with some physical measure to make the walk safer for pedestrians. She fears that the lights could ruin the character of the neighborhood and could just shed light on the danger rather than eliminate it.

“This is so backward. This whole thing has been so drawn out,” she said, angry at the lack of progress on the sidewalks.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said lights would be a step in the right direction. The town has not made any decisions on which lighting scheme it would go with, if any. Stevenson will also meet with a representative from the Department of Transportation to discuss the possibility of sidewalks on the road, which is also state Route 106.

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