Please come out to hear the preliminary recommendations by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) regarding the feasibility study of a multi-use trail in the right-of-way along the water side of the Merritt Parkway.
The next meeting will be in
Trumbull, May 15, 2014 at 7pm
at the Trumbull Library Community Room, 33 Quality Street.
It is important that many proponents of the trail show up to speak up and counter the opponents who have been coming out in force to these town meetngs with objections that in many cases are based simply upon a fear of change.
Following are some common objections to the trail with a summary of the answers. More detailed back up is available upon request.
- Crime - Studies consistently show that crime on trails or vandalism of nearby homes improves after a trail in built. Vandals don't ride away on bicycles. The increased evidence of people on the trail actually causes crooks to go elsewhere
- Privacy - People on the trail stay on the trail. In fact recent experience with the Farmington Valley Trail is that initially barriers were put up bordering on the trail at the request of the local homeowners. Most of those have been taken down now at the request of the same people since they now want access to this amenity.
- Cutting of trees and reducing the natural setting - The trail will be located in approximately the middle of the 150 foot right of way on the East side of the Parkway. This means that there will be about 70 feet between the path and the neighboring homes as well as the Parkway. This should provide plenty of screening during the months when the trail will have most of its use. Many of the plants that are there now are invasive. Part of building the trail can be to replace the native plants and trees.
- Housing values - It is well documented in numerous studies that housing values increase and homes sell faster the closer they are to the trail. This is because the trail is viewed as an amenity.
- Cost to build - $200 to $250 million does sound like a lot of money. Perhaps there are ways to reduce the cost and we can focus at first on the easier sections since we would not expect all thirty-eight miles to be build at one time. This would also prove the viability of the project.
There are of course other significant benefits such as:
- Health - Encouraging people to exercise in an enjoyable inexpensive way will lead to longer life
- Economic benefit do to increased tourism - one example is: In 2011 the Orlando Sentinel noted that the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council reported that three bike paths in Central Florida bring $42 million to the local economy every year. There are now a preponderance of properly researched academic studies that confirm this success.
- Reduction in road congestion - Usage statistics show that people will use trails if they are safe and available. The Farmington Valley Canal Trail has 25,000 users with a fraction of our population density.
- Reduced pollution
- Improved quality of life aka FUN!