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Leroy & Middlesex Tops Darien Sidewalk Priority List

The Hoyt Street sidewalk project, which has long been championed by residents, ranked fourth on Darien's prioritized list of sidewalk projects.
The Hoyt Street sidewalk project, which has long been championed by residents, ranked fourth on Darien's prioritized list of sidewalk projects. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. — The intersection of Leroy Avenue and Middlesex Road is Darien's No. 1 site for a sidewalk. The location tops a new list of seven potential sidewalk projects developed by the Department of Public Works.

The remaining six sites are (in descending order):

• Tokeneke Road near Old Kings Highway South

• Mansfield Avenue from Overbrook Lane to Mansfield Place

Hoyt Street to the New Canaan line

• West Avenue near Leroy Avenue

• Edgerton Street to West Avenue

• Mansfield Avenue from McLaren Road to Royle School

Darien officials created the rankings by scoring each project according to criteria such as the number of accidents, pedestrian intensity, connectivity, public demand, construction, terrain and existing obstructions. Issues pertaining to safety were given the highest weight, according to Public Works Director Bob Steeger.

The Hoyt Street project would be the most expensive, costing an estimated $640,000. The Leroy/Middlesex project is estimated to cost $120,000. The rest are all estimated at less than $100,000, with the Edgerton sidewalk being the least expensive at $36,000. None of the cost estimates include the potential purchase of land.

Hoyt Street residents have spent years requesting a sidewalk to protect people walking to and from the Talmadge Hill train station just over the New Canaan line. Advocates have conducted surveys on the matter, come before several town boards and come up with their own cost estimates to build the sidewalk.

Most of the projects were provided by First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, based on residents' suggestions and input from the police department. Public Works employees added the two projects on Mansfield Avenue. Although proponents of the Leroy/Middlesex project have not been as vocal in public meetings as the Hoyt Street residents, Stevenson said they have brought their concerns to the police department on several occasions.

Some of the ranking was subjective, because there is no accident data at several of the locations, and pedestrian use is difficult to quantify, Steeger said. Cost did not factor into the ranking.

Town officials will consider the priority and cost of the projects during the upcoming budget season to decide which, if any, projects will receive funding.

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