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Sidewalks for Darien's Hoyt Street Hit a Snag

DARIEN, Conn. – Last month it looked as if Darien was moving full steam ahead with plans to install sidewalks on Hoyt Street . Last week, however, the Board of Finance voted to hold off on approving money for an engineering survey of the road.

The postponement was urged by Murry Stegelmann, who stepped down from the Board of Finance last week. He said the board should not vote on $8,500 needed for the survey until the Board of Selectmen provides more information.

"Basically, we're waiting for the Board of Selectmen to prioritize all the sidewalk extension projects before proceeding with any particular one," Stegelmann said. He cited several projects in addition to Hoyt Street, including Edgerton Street and areas around schools.

"We're going to spend a lot of money," he said. "I think we should have an overall strategy."

Board of Finance Chairman Liz Mao was not at the meeting last week due to illness, but she said the Hoyt Street survey will be on the agenda next month and she intends to support it. First Selectman Dave Campbell said the Board of Finance has indicated in the past that it would approve the project out of contingency funds if the Board of Selectmen approved it, and he is confident the Board of Finance will say yes when its gets the information it needs.

Holly Schulz , an RTM member who lives near Hoyt Street and has been trying for years to get sidewalks installed, said it seems as if "most of our town leaders are simply playing hot potato and tossing the issue around without any actual pledge to make meaningful change in an area that is a proven safety risk."

She pointed to the fact that no sidewalks have been added to town in over 20 years, and that the commuters who use the Talmadge Hill station on Hoyt Street are not getting the same treatment as those using the Darien and Noroton Heights stations.

Do you think sidewalks will ever get added to Hoyt Street? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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