Bike lanes get a boost at zoning hearing

Proponents of bike lanes and paths won some support during a listening session for the town’s rewrite of the Plan of Conservation and Development April 2.

Arnold Light, chairman of the Economic and Community Development Commission said the town should “encourage alternative transportation solutions, including bicycle lanes and bike sharing.”

Ridgefield is an active, health-conscious community, and this would allow residents and visitors to park once and then access most areas of downtown and Copps Hill,” he added.

The April 2 meeting was the second in a series of three listening sessions hosted by the Planning and Zoning Commission, intended to draw ideas from town boards and organizations as the town rewrites its plan. 

Allison Stockel, executive director of the Ridgefield Playhouse, suggested the town could look into creating a bike trail from Main Street to the Branchville train station.

Tom Dworetsky, a project manager with Camoin Associates, who presented the results of a study on business and economic development in Ridgefield, said supporting bike paths would help the town market itself as an arts destination by tying into themes of recreation.

None of the surrounding communities have bike lanes on public roads.

The Norwalk River Valley Trail, a planned 30-mile path aims to connect Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, does allow cyclists, but it’s unclear when the final length of the trail will be completed.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is in the process of rewriting the POCD, which will serve as a roadmap for planning and development for the next decade. The plan has to be completed and adopted by July 2020.

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