David Squires’ quick walk to his mailbox yesterday turned into a leisurely stroll to the Greens Farms train station and post office, via Burying Hill Beach.
“Spring is busting out all over,” he says. “Stop and smell the pansies!”
The other day, I posted a story about a man who — upset at the traffic on Greens Farms Road — repeatedly parked his car perpendicular across both lanes, blocking everyone.
Now comes another transportation-related report — this one involving trains. An alert — and very irate — “06880” reader writes:
I ride the train every day. I notice from time to time when I get off at Greens Farms that someone leaves a huge pile of papers scattered on the floor for someone else to pick up. I always think to myself how terrible it is. I wonder how could someone be okay with doing this?
A few weeks ago I sat on the outside seat. I had to get up to let someone off at the Saugatuck station. As I did, a man also exited from the row right in front of me. Sure enough, there was the pile of papers.
I nicely asked if those were his papers. He looked at me and said “yes.”
I asked if he was going to leave them all over the floor for someone else to pick up.
He looked at me again. He again said “yes.” Then he walked off the train.
I passed the story along to my business partner, who got off at Greens Farms with me.
Last night my business partner sat across from the same guy, who did the same thing.
Apparently every day, he leaves his mess for someone else to clean up.
In this day and age, while many of us are talking about privilege, and how to teach our kids to do the right thing, this is a sad reminder that some people just don’t care.
[NOTE: The reader sent me a photo. The man appears to be in his 50s; he’s average height, average build, and wears glasses. His hair is graying at the temples. I have decided to take the high road — not the below-the-tracks road he travels — and not post it here. — Dan Woog]
The other day, alert — and compassionate — “06880” reader Elaine Marino sent me an email.
Earlier that morning, she said, she dropped off her husband at the Greens Farms train station.
Elaine noticed a woman who had just gotten off the train. She began walking, and turned left on Greens Farms Road, toward Morningside Drive.
Elaine pulled over and asked, “Can I give you a ride?” The woman gladly got in the car.
Elaine drove her to a house on a side street, just past the Sherwood Island Connector. Her name was Maria, and she was very grateful.
That was not the first time Elaine gave a ride to someone walking from the train station. For the past several years she’s done it for people who are household staff — nannies, cleaners, gardeners — who don’t have a ride from the train to their destination.
“I have met lovely people this way,” Elaine says. “I have never felt unsafe. It gives me a good feeling to help someone — especially in below-freezing temperatures. It would be great if even more people did this.”
Elaine did not expect me to name her this week’s Unsung Hero. She just wanted more Westporters to be aware of needs like this in our midst — and to reach out and help those who need it.
I’m sure she’s not the only one who has done something like this.
But I’m also sure there are many more — like me — who have not.
Thanks, Elaine, for stopping, and caring. And for reminding us all to do the same.
Last month, the Westport Transit District announced a new commuter shuttle marketing campaign.
Unlike many Metro-North trains, it arrived on time.
Recently — with the help of Police Chief Foti Koskinas and his team — the WTD installed new billboards at the Saugatuck and Greens Farms railroad station.
They’re eye-catching. And clever.
A much-needed route map helps too:
The WTD is also placing 5 x 7 route and information cards all around town: the stations, coffee shops, library, Town Hall and at real estate agencies, to name a few.
Meanwhile, they’ve sent emails to railroad parking permit holders, those on the wait list, and the Westport Parks and Recreation list. Those have generated interest in the WestportTransit.org website, which includes schedules and instructions on how to download the MyStop app. (Yes, it takes you to the Norwalk Transit District site. You’re in the right place.)
The Westport Transit District is making all the right moves to boost ridership.
Plus, those billboards give you something to look at while you wait for that overdue train.
Forget CNN. Who needs “Good Morning America”? And don’t even think about Channel 12 News.
At Donut Crazy — the new and very popular breakfast place on the eastbound side of the Westport railroad station — the TV is turned to a static shot of the Greens Farms station.
It’s not as random as you think.
As soon as you see your train pull into Greens Farms, you’ve got 3 minutes to get up, scurry through the tunnel, and board your ride to New York.
It’s a genius idea.
Right up there with strawberry cheesecake, cookies & cream and nutella donuts.
Alert “06880” reader Nico Eisenberger was saddened to see another large oak tree cut down earlier this month, near the Greens Farms train station.
He understands the “tree cutting frenzy” after recent hurricanes and windstorms.
But he wishes there was “transparency in who makes these decisions, and what the guidelines and objectives are.”
In recent days — as the stump and logs remain — he’s moved from sadness to anger. Why, he wonders, does Eversource (or the town) not conduct “prompt cleanup after they fell a once-beautiful, long-living thing?”
Steam — the coffee vendor at the Westport railroad station — has brewed its last joe there.
The town of Westport made several attempts to help Steam stay open, says Foti Koskinas, deputy police chief who oversees railroad operations.
However, he says, the Saugatuck location is now vacant. The town is initiating eviction proceedings at Green’s Farms. Termination of the current lease will follow.
The Green’s Farms building will stay open though, with coffee and baked goods. It’s a different situation than at the Westport station — where there are restrooms on the other (westbound) side, and several coffee shops.
The town will advertise soon for a new vendor.
(Hat tip: Lee Scharfstein)