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Letter: Darien Pedestrian Infrastructure Committee To Report Findings

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DARIEN, Conn. -- The Darien Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email .

To the Editor:

The Board of Selectmen of the town of Darien will be presented with the Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee’s findings and recommendations for safe passage for Darien pedestrians and cyclists in a public meeting on Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The event marks another step in highlighting the importance of safe walking and biking on the streets of Darien. The committee will present a detailed report of its work since June of this year.

The work of the Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee is intended to involve the community in discussions regarding potential high-value improvements to Darien’s existing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

These ideas are based on interviews with town officials and other community leaders, valuable input from concerned citizens attending PIAC’s public meetings, suggestions from our townwide survey and on our own research.

The committee report is organized into 10 areas of interest or “hot spots.” They represent a circle of one-half mile around an important center of civic activity: the five elementary schools, Middlesex Middle School, Darien High School, the train stations, as well as the downtown business district.

Within each circle, we found a number of necessary improvements, including new or repaired sidewalks and crosswalks, better street lights, means of slowing vehicular traffic or opportunities for increasing awareness of risks for drivers, bikers or pedestrians, all under the objective of “Complete Streets.”

The Darien police have estimated that more than 90 percent of accidents involving both pedestrian and vehicle are attributable to the person on foot. Another theme is the lack of an arterial system of pedestrian travel providing a congruent arrangement of sidewalks and crosswalks at side streets.

Patience is needed – projects will be undertaken with a multiyear perspective, and with the pace of these projects, there will be a determining factor in how costs can be shared with the state or the private sector.

Beth Harmon, PIAC chair, Pat Morrissey, PIAC co-chair, and committee members Terry Duffy, Joanna Garrett, Suzanne Handler, Ted Hawkins, Jennifer Morgan, Holly Schulz-Amatruda and Bert von Stuelpnagel

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