Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Petition for Oaklawn Ave Sidewalks

1. Sidewalks provide pedestrian safety and calm traffic.

• More than 120 accidents occurred along Oaklawn from 2001 to 2005 between its intersections with High Ridge Road and Newfield Avenues.
• On average, nearly 10,000 vehicles travel on Oaklawn each day. More than 75% of them exceed the speed limit; 25% by more than 10 miles per hour.
• A $1 million citywide traffic calming study completed in 2008 recommends narrowing Oaklawn, installing sidewalks, and creating crosswalks at key intersections, among other things, to slow traffic and make the road safer.

2. Officials agree that sidewalks are needed, but have not made them a priority, developed a comprehensive plan, or allocated adequate funds.

• In 2004, the City’s highway supervisor proposed installing sidewalks, citing neighborhood growth and safety concerns. In 2008, a fraction of the funds needed to complete the project were earmarked for work that never began.
• This year, $170,000 is allocated toward the project. The City proposes using these funds to install asphalt sidewalks on the north side between Benstone and Sherwood, and possibly as far east as Pepper Ridge (as opposed to the concrete walkways it envisions for the High Ridge end). The inconsistent approach and lack of funding to complete the entire street is irresponsible.
• The city has failed to complete a land survey to determine the feasibility of continuing the sidewalks on the north side, either east toward Newfield or west toward High Ridge.
• The City says it is now asking for an additional $2.5 million in Federal and State funding to reconstruct the intersection of High Ridge Road and Oaklawn and to install concrete sidewalks and traffic calming measures as far east as Northwoods Road. Plans include straightening the roadway at Cantwell. However, the funding is not guaranteed, can take up to 5 years to obtain, and would require matching funds from the city (typically 20%.)
• A multi-phase plan, cost analysis, and timeline are needed to prioritize the most dangerous sections and to ensure that the project is completed and funded (irrespective of external funding requests).

3. Oaklawn’s sidewalks should be built to last, provide a safety (or “amenity”) border between the sidewalk and the street, and be consistent in quality to those in the downtown area.

• Asphalt is a less expensive short-term solution, whereas concrete:
– Will outlast asphalt many times over;
– Provide additional safety and energy efficiency: It is more visible at night, illuminates up to 37.5% better than asphalt (requiring less lighting), and helps to minimize the urban heat island effect;
– Is more attractive and neighborhood-enhancing
• The City regularly funds concrete sidewalks for the downtown and other important streets citywide. Belltown Road and 5th Street are recent examples. Oaklawn, one of the city’s principle east-west arteries, merits the same construction.

4. Sidewalks are an important component of larger transit-oriented plans (for the City and Bull’s Head) and benefit the downtown as well as the immediate neighborhood.

Support the sidewalk campaign. Sign the neighborhood petition.
Call or write your representatives, the Mayor, and the Operations Dept.

You also can support the effort by calling or writing …

Mayor Dannel Malloy: dmalloy@ci.stamford.ct.us (copy to areich@ci.stamford.ct.us), 977-4150

Ben Barnes, Director of Operations for the City of Stamford: bbarnes@ci.stamford.ct.us; 977-4141

And your representatives:
District 11: Jim Diamond jdiamond@ci.stamford.ct.us Home: 316-8804, Work: 739-0400
John Zelinsky jzelinsky@ci.stamford.ct.us Home: 348-3870 (prefers calls)
District 14; Gabe DeLuca rdeluca@ci.stamford.ct.us Home: 324-9194
Carl Franzetti cfranzetti@ci.stamford.ct.us Home: 322-9280

… And by attending the next public meeting in July.
Details will be posted throughout the neighborhood.

1 comment:

Whitemist said...

Oh, but astro turf for soccor fields is soooo much more important! I hate the way the city spends its money and then there is Tarzia>..
I am not being very sarcastic, am I???