Holly Schulz used to walk to the Talmadge Hill train station from her house on Hoyt Street, but after she got clipped by cars twice she decided to drive. Many residents who still walk to the station have been waiting six years for Darien to install sidewalks to make their trip safer.
"Every single night I pass residents walking down that street, trying not to get hit. I don't think this is a low priority item," Schulz said. The project has been stalled since 2004, when residents started asking for sidewalks on Hoyt Street. Since then, Schulz and her fellow residents have been knocking on doors, handing out fliers, sending emails and writing letters. She said that everybody in the neighborhood agreed that they were necessary, but there are still no sidewalks.
"The entire north end of town is serviced by the Talmadge Hill station," Schulz said. She said no cabs and no buses run out of Talmadge Hill, and the only options are driving or walking in the street. "They're not doing anything. They're not actively pursuing it." The Metro-North station at Talmadge Hill is over the border in New Canaan.
Since Hoyt Street is a state road, also known as Route 106, the town of Darien would need state approval to move ahead with a project. Schulz said she has talked to state officials, including state Sen. Bob Duff , a Democrat who represents Darien and Norwalk and who favor a sidewalk.
First Selectman Dave Campbell said Darien was looking at options on a design plan and spending. "We're concerned about safety. This is all about balance. You have to deal with different constituents who want different things, all while being sensitive to the taxpayer." He also said residents would be required to shovel the sidewalks when it snowed.
"I will be the first one out there at 5 a.m. shoveling my walk so that pedestrians have a place to walk," Schulz said. She said time is running out to get something done this budget season.
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