(Norwalk, Conn.) – On September 20, 2019, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling was joined by area stakeholders in announcing more than $4 million in investments occurring along the Wall Street and West Avenue corridor over the next 12-18 months during a morning press conference in the neighborhood.
Investments include streetscape and roadway improvements; traffic signal replacements and upgrades; pay stations and signage; milling, paving, and line striping; enhancements to the Yankee Doodle Garage, and fencing for Freese Park. In preparation for the official unveiling of these improvements, the City worked with stakeholders for more than 16 months. These enhancements were included in the budgetary process over a year ago, have gone through the proper approvals, and now are ready to be rolled out in the 2019-2020 construction season.
“These projects improve mobility and safety in the area, help create customer turnover for local businesses, and enhance existing neighborhood resources. It’s important we build on the characteristics of the neighborhood and help bring more people into this area,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “We continue to work closely with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to identify key projects across the City that enhance the quality of life. We intend to carry this approach forward through the next budgetary process.”
Rilling was joined by members of the Wall Street Neighborhood Association (WSNA), Norwalk Parking Authority, and other area stakeholders. The addition of reverse angle parking created nine new parking spaces in the area and will help slow traffic through the corridor. Studies have shown that backing into a parking space is safer than backing out into traffic, and allows occupants to exit vehicles safely near sidewalks. A video demonstrating how to safely back into the spots is available at norwalkct.org/tmp.
Since January 2015, more than 200 people have been involved in nearly 100 accidents along Wall Street. Of these, there were 31 injuries and one fatality. Additionally, four pedestrians were struck at intersections. The parking improvements come in direct response to requests from the business community and factor in the anticipated growth of pedestrian and bike traffic.
“Efforts to improve parking for the Wall Street area is much appreciated by the area businesses, residents, and WSNA leadership. This neighborhood provides a terrific dining and entertainment experience for visitors who will be attracted to Norwalk by the SoNo Collection,” said Nancy McGuire, president of the Wall Street Neighborhood Association. “Additionally, Norwalk’s new apartment stock and easy pedestrian access to restaurants, entertainment, and shopping are getting noticed by people looking for a terrific place to call home.”
In addition to the parking spaces and pay meters, new bike lanes were installed along East Wall Street near the Mill Hill Historic Park and Norwalk Historical Society. This addition safely expands mobility options through Wall Street. In the coming months, new sidewalks will also be installed throughout the Wall Street/West Avenue Corridor.
“In a downtown center like the Wall Street district, curbside parking spots typically produce $100,000 or more in retail and restaurant business per year. With 18 additional spots, we have the potential for $1.8 million per year for the area,” said Jud Aley, Commissioner with the Norwalk Parking Authority. “In addition, new bike lanes and speed calming elements increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, while providing connectivity between neighborhoods.”
About Norwalk, Conn.
Located in Connecticut in the heart of Fairfield County, the City of Norwalk is a diverse community rich in culture and personality. Uniquely situated on Long Island Sound, Norwalk has a vibrant Urban Core, remarkable schools, and beautiful beaches and parks. As of the 2017 United States Census Bureau estimate, Norwalk’s population was nearly 90,000, making it Connecticut’s sixth-largest city. Find out why Norwalk is the Sound of Connecticut by visiting norwalkct.org.