We need leadership on this issue from Mr. McCarthy, not attacks on individuals asking questions. We've seen this many times before from him.
If he was at the meeting last week, when speakers were attacked from the chairman and from the audience, he might think twice before singing the praises of the OHPA.
Mr. McCarthy, ask to watch the film of the meeting, and then write a letter talking about how we should all just show up and learn. Your letter may not have been written if you saw the inexcusable behavior of the OHPA board that night, using sarcasm and insults in the middle of speakers' statements. It was as bad as high school.
Many of us learned something that evening, about how bad our city is really run with unprofessional leadership, poor planning, and bullying. Be careful who you start to defend before knowing all the facts, and before attacking citizens who are just asking questions. View Comment
David, great to see you think the sharrows are a good compromise. We all do, even if they were not our first choice! When you stated in the Common Council hearing on Beach Rd., as the very first speaker, that cyclists always broke the law and did not belong on roads at all, it freaked a lot of us out as we always thought you were on board with the idea of bike lanes in Norwalk, as a member of the NRVT steering committee representing Norwalk. I think you could accept that the initial negative reaction towards you, which may be a source of this lingering and unproductive animosity, is due to this testimony which was passionate and from your heart, but completely unexpected and a shock. We all get passionate and say things we may regret afterwards, and that has been true in this process by many of us on both sides of this issue. Now that you agree the sharrows are a good compromise, it is good new for many of us that you are not so anti-bike as you had first indicated.
Calling us liars, with a lack of credibility, as "discovered" by Traffic Authority member Pete Torrano is completely unfair, and we would like you to explain that further, or to hear that from Mr. Torrano himself, as we were simply basing our support of the vehicle-free lane on 2 recently published studies paid for by taxpayers. One was by Fitzgerald and Halliday, commissioned by Planning and Zoning and downloadable off the city website, page 32 under "Final Recommendations", for Beach Rd. which recommends either 2-10 ft. lanes and a 4 ft bike lane, or as it states, a more "progressive approach" of a vehicle-free lane with a wide striped buffer strip and a 6 ft bike/pedestrian lane. There was no mention of sharrows in that "Final Recommendations" section on page 32. A further description on page 61 of that study is a full page section devoted to sharrows which specifically recommends against their use in travel lanes that are wide enough for bike lanes as on Beach Rd. They go on to say that sharrows should only be used on roads that are too narrow for bike lanes, which is based on national standards. A graphic appearance of the word "sharrow" on Beach Rd. did appear in a preliminary "task 2" conceptual plan in that study, but did not make the final "task 4" recommendations for Beach Rd. Perhaps that is where some confusion by Mr. Torrano occurred.
The other study that recommends the vehicle-free lane on Beach Rd, and not the sharrows, is by The Alta Group, commissioned by the NRVT (which you are on the steering committee for as mentioned, and which you should be commended for), which shows cross sections and a verbal description of the vehicle free lane on page 55, downloadable off the NRVT website. An even third recommendation of a road diet was verbal, in a site meeting, but unofficial, by a consultant to the DPW Traffic Study., which has not been published yet. I can understand if the last one was questionable by Mr. Torrano, as it was not published, but the other 2 are published studies 'final recommendations' as described, neither of which recommend sharrows. I really would like to find out what you and Mr. Torrano are talking about when saying we misrepresented these studies. They are there for anyone to confirm, online.
However, now that the sharrows are installed, they are better than nothing for sure, and a step in the right direction, which you also agree with, so lets move on. I think they do make the road safer, which were in my comments to Nancy Chapman in the article but she chose not to include them. I still see some folks speeding in that outside lane (although not as many as before which is very positive), not with my radar eyes as you suggest, but by pure observation, since I know the difference between 25 mph and 45 mph when on a bike going 10 mph within inches of a passing car. We all need to learn better habits, both drivers and cyclists, and on that issue I am sure we all agree. Continuing enforcement on that stretch will help, including much needed education of cyclists in Norwalk as to what their rules of the road are. That's something we can all work on together someday, I hope.
There is so much work to do together, and I think we both have said things we regret, and should perhaps apologize to each other for, in person. I hope you are willing to do that, as I am. Your amazing contributions to kayaking, the NRVT steering committee, cemetery restoration (which we worked on together and I saw how effective you were in ridding Pine Island of vandalism with new lighting, etc.) and so many other issues over the years in Norwalk are all worthy of praise and admiration.
It hurts all of the good folks who wanted a safer Beach Rd for themselves and their families, as well as all Norwalkers, to be called names for fighting for what they truly believe in, based on published professional studies by nationally recognized firms that their taxpayer dollars paid for. I don't think the consultants were "lying", or had any devious "agenda", beyond giving the best advice they could based on actual conditions and national best management practices that cities across the country are following. You don't have to agree with their professional conclusions, but many of us do, and we are not horrible people, nor should we be your enemies, for doing so.
Hope you are enjoying Martha's Vineyard, and I look forward to seeing you at the NRVT routing study celebration on October 6th, if not before.
Congratulations to the new Chief, , but the process was flawed. Just one more example of many recently that the entire system by which the city is run is corrupt.
One year from now, mark my words, there will still be gang violence, shootings, rampant street crime, and no sense of order in the chaos. Business as usual while violence runs rampant. This was an opportunity to restore trust in the NPD and City Hall, and change the image and security of the city, but it was squandered.
The Moccia era of incompetence has just been extended by decades by this secretive last minute decision. Pathetic. View Comment
Tim T, you are right about that. The Common Council is clueless to police overtime, and the mayor wants the police endorsement. And he's on the Police Commission, so he is funneling taxpayer dollars by the millions to the cops. The city pays the cops to work a regular shift, then the city pays overtime for any work in a city park, as if the park is not part of a regular patrol tah ttaxpayers already paid ofr coverage for. Its a big taxpayer ripoff, and the mayor endorses it. He's running Norwalk into a deep hole that somebody else is going to have to fix.
The other question the Council should ask the mayor and Rilling is this. if you had trouble at the park last Memorial Day. why diid you just have one cop on duty this year? Dont you ever learn from your mistakes? You had 100 cops at the parade earlier that day, so why skimp at the beach? Bet they were paid for a whole doubletime shift too for the parade, even though they worked a half day. Makes no sense. View Comment
If a dredged area is not considered oyster habitat, as Mr. Hart says, and hes not breaking any rules, then what's all the fuss about?
Maybe nancy can confirm what the rules say with Mr. Johnson. And, does Mr. Johnson know that the boat is sitting on the bottom at low tide? Wouldnt it tip over a bit or push the pilings over?
Mr Alvord's excuses often do not make any sense, so this isnt anything new. No one knows why seaview happened the way it did. It started out with the city trying to put in a bike lane, but they never reviewed it with anybody from what I heard. They made it look exactly like a parking lane, so people parked in it naturally. So the city then put up no parking signs, but never identified the bike lane as a bike lane, so local people got upset. Of course they would. they called the mayor, the signs were removed, and now there is parking again in what was supposed to be a bike lane. I live on seaview and everybody speeds there. The city did nothing to slow people down, and now they have illegal parking that the mayor said was ok, and still no bike lanes. mr alvord says the seaview plan was haphazard, and hes right, its because of how the city did it that confused everybody. , but he says it was because of the community. thats unfair, because hes covering up his own depatments incompetence in that whole mess. Now he is completely wrong about studies that the city paid for that show how to add bike lanes to calf pasture, saying they dont exist. Is he lying, or is he just unaware of what his own expensive consultants are recommending? Whats worse? either way is bad. then he said calf pasture needs public hearings and engineering reports, but he didnt do that on seaview when he screwed it all up. So why does calf pasture need a process that seaview didnt get? Did he screw up seaview on purpose so he could say bike lanes wont work in norwalk? View Comment
Bike lanes on calf pasture road are a good idea. It will slow down the drag strip. Why do we need those four lanes there anyway? Its a highway to nowhere. What happened on Seaview that Mr. Alvord of dpw is referring to? There's no bike lanes there. And everybody speeds there too. Why is the city encouraging speeding cars over bike lanes anyway? Shouldnt the city be trying to make our streets safer, not more dangerous?
This letter is so full of crap, its not even worth responding to. Surprising Michelle would stoop this low, attacking a Norwalk resident for signing a petition supporting safe bike lanes to protect children and families in front of a school, and for the ride to the beach where everybody speeds.. It is obvious Michelle didn't write the letter, or somebody wrote poarts of it to get back at others.
The question is, who wrote the letter, and why wouldnt Michelle support bike lanes that her consituents are demanding by the hundreds? Not a smart move on her part. View Comment
Anyone can go out to this location and see that there is absolutely no reason to widen or lower the roadway beyond the work that's been done already. Sightlines are good, the road is very narrow both north and south of this location, and the only main effect of widening here will be to speed up traffic exactly where you want to slow it down, where pedestrians mingle with the cars and the parking lot connects to the road. Add a few lights, and a sign that says slow, and it would cost maybe $5 thousand instead of $2.8 million. I'd rather see new footpaths all over Rowayton to encourage walking. View Comment
Great article. How did Planning and Zoning drop the ball on this for decades? This is just one of many examples of Mike Greene being out to lunch on what Norwalk really needs, for the last 30 years that he has been in City Hall. He is a walking disaster, but he gets rewarded with 150k a year and 8 weeks vacation. Get rid of Greene, and see how fast Nortwalk gets up to date on livability. View Comment