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Trumbull to Bridgeport Trails Advancing

Residents had some concerns about safety.

Plans for connecting biking trails between Trumbull and Bridgeport are nearing their final design stages.

Senior Transportation Planner Mark Nielsen of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency recently presented the latest designs for Quarry Road, Trumbull Road and River Road portions of the trail before the Trumbull Planning and Zoning Commission.

If all goes smoothly, construction could begin in the fall.

Residents had some concerns and questions, which Nielsen addressed. He said all opinions would be considered.

"We want to have this trail be a good neighbor," Nielsen said.

The two sections represent 5,300 feet from the end of Quarry Road to the Trumbull-Bridgeport line.

Also, Manor Drive leading into Twinbrooks Park will not be used to connect the Pequonnock Valley to Twinbrooks. Nielsen said he is trying to route the trail behind the Trumbull Center shopping plaza.

The plan calls for the trail to lie completely in Beardsley Park (bounded by White Plains Road), with a 10-foot paved trail, a seven-foot buffer from the road and two-foot buffer on the east side of the trail.

The other features would also include:

  • a new 20-space parking area along Trumbull Road;
  • replacement of a bridge;
  • Mill and remove existing pavement structure along the river road from the bridge abutment to Beardsley Park;
  • Restore and repair buffer along Trumbull Road and River Road with natural vegetative buffer as needed;
  • Removal of non-native invasive species;
  • Repair stream channel erosion with embankment improvements.

Planning and Zoning Vice Chairwoman Arlyne Fox said trails crossing roads can be dangerous, such as the crossing at Route 111 near the intersection with Route 25. 

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"They're working on a safety study for that crossing," Nielsen said.

In answer to another question, Nielsen said the trail will run over the now closed Rocky Hill Road bridge (closed to car traffic when Route 25 came through).

He added that he is "optimistic" a plan can be worked out with the owners of Trumbull Center to route the trail behind the shopping center. 

Director of Planning & Development Jamie Bratt asked about the trail's use.

Nielsen said about 6,000 people used the trail in a week, according to a study conducted over a week in summer 2011. 

Lights will not be used at night to discourage after hours usage, the planner noted.

Robert Ferrigno, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, had some concerns. The board has said it is already to difficult to monitor and maintain the trail system. 

"While we all appreciate the beauty and benefits of a trail system within our community, expansion of the Rail/Trail system brings significant impact to our parks system, its parking and facilities," he said in a letter. "We will appreciate your attention to keep this commission informed of any and all requests which may come to your commission for action."

Resident Mary Keane asked who is tasked with keeping mountain bikers out of the trail area, adding that changes to the paths from Manor Drive into Twinbrooks Park has driven away some people.

James Taradine June 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM
I can recommend an excellent contractor to do the trails work when the time comes. They have done the trails in Shelton and did an excellent job and were reasonably priced. Jim Taradine jimtaradine@aol.com
John Lauria June 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
The State DOT should look into the safety of the Rails-to-Trails crossing at the intersection of Rt.111 and Old Mine Park. It is very dangerous crossing this four lane highway. I've seen several cars get rear ended there already when pedestrians are attempting to cross. The cars sometimes stop at the cross walk and sometimes they don't (even with a flashing yellow light). One car stops, the pedestrian steps out while another in the adjacent lane going the same direction blows on by! Why is the State waiting until someone gets killed before they will do something!
JR June 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM
If they want people to stop, make it a red light crosswalk.
Scot Kerr July 02, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Having just spent some time on Cape Cod, riding one of the most beautiful and heavily used trails in the region, I am even more excited for the prospect of completing this project fully from Bridgeport to Monroe/Newtown. I've seen the plans for the segment discussed above and it is impressive and includes a wonderfully rehabilitated section along the river leading into Beardsley Park. There are some challenges ahead to connect the dots through Trumbull Center, but ultimately this will be an amazing resource and draw for our community. I understand people's safety concerns, particularly at Rt. 111. A full stop pedestrian crossing would be ideal, so we all need to push for completion and safety upgrades where necessary.

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