The Merritt Parkway: Cutting, Planting, Crashing

In the aftermath of the recent Paul Bunyan activity near the Merritt, a group of interested Westporters, Norwalkers and Fairfielders — not all of whom live near the parkway — have done some letter-writing.

They wanted to know whether new trees — less prone to fall over and kill people — would be planted once the dangerous ones were removed.

The Merritt Parkway before...

The Merritt Parkway before…

They contacted state representatives and the Department of Transportation.

The answer was “yes.”

There will be short trees and shrubs that “give” easily.

The new, improved vegetation is not only to prevent deaths by landing on cars, but also to prevent deaths when cars run off the road and smash into them. That happens a lot more than trees toppling in high winds and hurricanes.

The stumps that line the roadside now will be removed “soon.”

Homeowners hope the planting takes place “soon,” as well. They (and the new Y) are pretty exposed, following the recent cutting.

The DOT is working with the Merritt Parkway Conservancy on this project.

At the same time, DOT plans to replace all rusted metal guard rails with reinforced wood ones.

Hopefully they too will “give” when drivers plow into them.

11 responses to “The Merritt Parkway: Cutting, Planting, Crashing

  1. David Stalling

    When a car run offs the road and smashes into a tree, which does more damage to the trees: An electric car or a gas car? :-)

  2. May I suggest they plant Mountain Laurel…an evergreen shrub that blooms in the spring, it is the CT State flower and no, deer don’t eat it!

  3. Green, Green, Green!

    Hopefully, this surprisingly unbiased update from Dan will quiet the cries of those radical environmentalists, such as David and Jaret, who are so paranoid about a few little trees missing on the parkway. Happy now???

    • David Stalling

      Green, Green, Green!: Not all of the missing trees were so little. One of them is a sugar maple, 23″ diameter at breast height (DBH), who had just reached maturity, produced his first significant crop of samaras last fall, was beginning to look quite handsome in his fall foliage, and produced his first bucket of sap this spring. We called him Ace, short for Acer.

      We’ve put up “missing tree” posters in hopes of finding him (which ironically we had to tack onto other trees) but we are certain the Canadian government is behind this in an underhanded effort to curtail competition for syrup sales and production.

      Personally, I won’t be happy until Ace’s roots are planted firmly back where he belongs and the Canadian maple caper is fully exposed and stopped.

  4. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the stump removal/replanting….the State is BROKE!

  5. isitpinworthy

    I was heartbroken to see the beauty of the scenic parkway decimated and felt there wasn’t adequate notice or opportunity for input or investigation into other solutions. I saw the DOT cutting down trees in obvious wetlands and then blowing the chips back into the wetlands as well. I question whether there was any environmental impact study to support the hastily executed decision to create the wide setback or whether the decision was based on any science at all.

  6. Jo Shields Dickison

    “Currently CTDOT is studying the feasibility of building a multi-use trail in the right-of-way of the Merritt Parkway. The trail would be used by pedestrians, bicyclists and others and would be adjacent to the roadway.
    We invite you to stay informed about the progress of the study and what the trail might mean to you as a neighbor of the Merritt Parkway.
    Please complete the following form and click the “Submit” button to receive updates.” —from the Merritt Parkway Conservancy website. I think this idea has been on the table for a quite a while… I was hoping that perhaps the tree cutting marked a start on this project.

  7. That project should be 1,000th in line for my taxpayer money. The State is BROKE!!!!!!!