Public Outreach Efforts
The Connecticut Department of Transportation takes great pride in the fact that the iconic design for the Merritt Parkway was completed by in-house staff. Although consultant expertise has been, and will continue to be integrated into the Parkway planning and design, the people you will see at community events will be Department staff, with intimate knowledge of this special roadway, as well as the transportation issues facing Connecticut communities.
Our interdisciplinary team of environmental planners, landscape architects and engineers look forward to the opportunity to work with community leaders, stakeholder groups, public officials, and individual residents to obtain the information necessary to complete this study. Ultimately, the study will provide the documentation required to make informed decisions about the feasibility of the trail.
An E-News Alert is available to anyone wishing to be notified of any updates, changes or scheduled events. All members of the public are encouraged to participate, and this website will be one way to communicate concerns, opinions and ideas.
The first step in the process is for the team to meet with local elected officials to review the scope of the study. They will also request a list of interested parties within each municipality, discuss any concerns they may have, and identify local features to which a potential trail could provide access.
The next phase will be to hold interactive workshops where a general overview of the study will be presented, including typical treatments. The team will have conducted preliminary inventories of the corridor and surrounding areas prior to these workshops and will have a general idea of local issues and opportunities. They will also have an understanding of the need for grading and vegetation removal and preliminary mapping of wetlands that would need to be traversed.
Afterwards, the team will interact with the audience to assess the trail concept and collect input regarding local areas of concern as well as suggestions for improvements. Depending on the initial concerns raised, as well as the size and participation level of those in attendance, the workshop may then be broken into groups to refine issues, brainstorm about problem solving, or to envision design ideas for specific areas or connections. Maps will be laid out so that residents can express their ideas or concerns with the assistance of a team member.
The study will provide the most compatible route for a path through the corridor based on environmental considerations and community input. It is important that the team obtain information from the people who live and work in these areas.
Desired outcomes for the workshops include:
Facilitating local knowledge of the study process
Meeting stakeholders and understanding their individual concerns
Identifying and prioritizing community concerns and opportunities
Brainstorming potential solutions to specific localized challenges
Collecting information about local traffic patterns
Identifying neighborhood characteristics to be preserved
Town Information Meetings
After the team analyzes all the collected information, they will develop a conceptual alignment for the multi-use trail. This will outline treatment strategies for screening private properties, wetland crossings, side road crossings, and elements such as fencing and signage. The conceptual alignment will be presented at informational meetings to be held in each city/town. The team will collect additional feedback from participants about both general and specific concerns.
Desired outcome from the Town Informational Meetings include:
Identifying areas which may require further consideration
Finalizing information to be included in the Environmental Assessment
The final components and format of the study document, which will constitute the Environmental Assessment, will depend on many factors. This section of the website will be continuously updated as the process moves along.
Town Workshops Were Held in:
- Greenwich - March 26, 2012
- Stamford - March 22, 2012
- New Canaan - April 3, 2012
- Norwalk - May 17, 2012
- Westport - May 1, 2012
- Fairfield - April 10, 2012
- Trumbull - May 14, 2012
- Stratford: Despite multiple attempts, the Department and the Town were not able to schedule a public workshop prior to beginning the conceptual alignment phase of this study. A public meeting will be held in the spring of 2014 following the preparation of a conceptual design.