FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Readers made their wishes clear on The Fairfield Daily Voice’s Facebook page this week: Fairfield needs more sidewalks. Many also offered suggestions as to which streets need walkways the most.
At least two commenters singled out Easton Turnpike as in need of space for pedestrians. “Cars drive by so fast and there are many houses that contain either seniors or school-aged children (like mine),” Janelle Olson DeLorenzo wrote in an answer to a question on the Fairfield Daly Voice’s Facebook page.
Fairfield readers also identified Judd Street, Burroughs Road, Mill Plain Road and Churchill Road as areas that could use sidewalks or repairs.
Kristin Pereira also put in a word for her neighborhood, Gould Street. Drivers frequently speed on the small street connecting Ruane Street and Oldfield Road, she said. She and her neighbors even took the issue up with the town but had a possible fix delayed by budget concerns.
“We have already lost 2 pets and had a couple of close calls with kids within the last couple of years,” Pereira said via email. “Sidewalks would at least keep them safe as they head to and from the bus stop everyday.”
Not everyone, however, was in favor of adding more sidewalks. “Sidewalks in Connecticut are a waste of money,” reader Robert Davis wrote. “People here walk and run in the streets even when there are sidewalks present.”
Fairfield’s Public Works Department planned to set aside $80,000 this fiscal year specifically for sidewalk installation and uses more for repairs, according to the town budget. DPW Superintendent Scott Bartlett told the Board of Finance last year that the program is designed to improve coverage in certain areas.
“For example, in some areas where there’s two-thirds of a sidewalk and then it stops, we’ll come in an put in that one-third,” Bartlett said last March.
The Fairfield Police Commission also has regular hearings on traffic safety. Based on complaints from residents, the town can install signs or change road shapes in rare instances to improve safety. Citizens can start the process by submitting complaints via the Police Department website.