Tag Archives: Riverside Avenue

[OPINION] Bike Lane Needed On Riverside Avenue

Alert “06880” reader Jennifer Johnson loves to ride her bike around town.

She’d love it a lot more if there were more bike lanes — especially on roads where there is enough room. She writes:

If anyone is interested in making Westport safer for biking, please come to Town Hall tonight (Monday, June 24, 7 pm ) for the “Main to Train” study meeting. 

The current draft recommendations of the Main to Train study (click here) do not include a bike lane for Riverside Avenue.

Riverside Avenue yesterday (Sunday) morning …

This is important. Without this key recommendation, Westport will have a much harder time securing state and federal grants for bike enhancements on this important road.   

You may have noticed the new and very well-marked shoulder lines on Riverside Avenue south of the Post Road. These shoulders could easily be dedicated for biking. 

Instead, cars increasingly use these wider shoulders to park. Riverside is a state road (Route 33). Parking is not allowed on other state roads in town, including most of the Post Road and  Compo Road (Route 136). 

… and this (Monday) morning.

Because Riverside is a key artery to the train station, and one of the key purposes of the Main to Train study is to “promote non-motorized modes of transportation,” the final report should include a recommendation that the wide shoulder be reserved for biking.

A stretch of Riverside Avenue with no parking (except for church services) …

Currently, the draft report shows a schematic where bikes must travel in the same lane as cars.  This is arguably an even more dangerous scenario than what currently exists.

Historically, some businesses have used Riverside/Route 33 for parking. That may have worked in the past. But it is no longer a viable solution for our traffic-plagued town. 

… and one where cars always park. (Photos/Jennifer Johnson)

If we are serious about addressing congestion, then the town should use every opportunity to make town roads more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. The last thing our elected leaders and town employees should be doing is making it easier for people to park and harder for people to bike, especially to the train.

Please show up today. For additional information, click here for the Main to Train study website.

“Main To Train Study” Wants You

If you’re a normal Westporter, you’re probably all meeting-ed out.

So I’m presenting this without editorial comment.

The town of Westport hosts a public information meeting next Monday (March 25, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall room 201). The subject is the “Westport Main to Train Study.”

That’s the project to identify improvements to vehicle, bike and pedestrian safety and circulation on the Post Road and Riverside Avenue. The idea is to create better connections between downtown and the train station, and “promote non-motorized transportation choices.”

The meeting — the 3rd of 5 planned during the study — is open to residents, business owners, commuters and “other local stakeholders who are concerned about transportation in Westport.”

For more information the Westport Main to Train Study, click here.

Post Road East and Riverside Avenue. The “Main to Train” study includes the often-gridlocked intersection.

Storywalk: The Sequel

The wooden walkway behind the Riverside Avenue medical complex is beautiful any time of year. It’s especially lovely in October.

Village Pediatrics takes full advantage. They’ve created a story walk there. They  laminate pages of a popular children’s story, then mount them on pylons behind their office.

Children and parents love it. So do random walkers and joggers of all ages.

Unfortunately — as “06880” reported last month — someone stole a story walk. Hard to believe why anyone would want to do that — or even think of it — but it happened.

Fortunately, the pediatricians were not deterred. They found a great story — The Hallo-Wiener — that’s perfect for the upcoming Halloween holiday kids love. (And dentists hate.)

It’s fully laminated, mounted on pylons, and ready for everyone to enjoy.

Except, hopefully, the Grinch who stole the last one.

Coleytown Middle School 7th grader Sophia Lomnitz enjoys the new story walk.

Westport’s Newest Study: “Main To Train”

I’ve never gotten a press release from the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.

Actually, I’ve never even heard of them.

But they’ve got a website. A logo.

And this news:

The Town of Westport is hosting a public information session on Monday, October 1 (7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium) to introduce the Westport “Main to Train” Study.

The study will “identify improvements to vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian safety and circulation on Post Road East and Riverside Avenue. This will create better connections between the commercial center of town and the Saugatuck train station, and promote non-motorized transportation choices.”

Post Road and Riverside Avenue. The “Main to Train” includes the often-gridlocked intersection.

The meeting — one of 5 scheduled for the course of the study — will “provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the study’s purpose, schedule, and scope, and to share their observations, concerns and ideas with the project team.”

For more information, click here for the Westport Main to Train website. Or contact WestCOG associate planner Nicole Sullivan: nsullivan@westcog.org.

Photo Challenge #191

Many readers thought last week’s photo challenge rang a ball.

In fact, Bob Mitchell’s image was a bell.

But it was not where most commenters thought it was (Saugatuck Engine Company 4, on Riverside Avenue).

Bob’s bell is on Riverside Avenue. It’s at the other end, though: #15, near Post Road West. Specifically, it’s next to the Gault Building West — beside the driveway leading down to the small parking lot on the river, across from Sunny Daes.

It took a while, but Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Diane Bosch finally nailed the answer.

You can see both bells — this one, and the one at the firehouse — from Riverside Avenue. Take a close look. Until then, click here for the photo.

Now on to this week’s photo challenge:

If you know where in Westport you’d find Kuti’s Way, click “Comments” below.

Friday Flashback #90

Earlier this week, the Westport Historic District Commission voted unanimously to recommend that 13 homes on Lincoln Street, and 4 more on nearby Riverside Avenue, comprise a new Historic District.

The houses were all built between the 1850s and 1930s.

Seth Schachter quickly sent “06880” this postcard, from his collection. It shows Lincoln Street from Post Road West — then called State Street — looking east, toward Riverside Avenue and the Saugatuck River.

Seth guesses the photo is from the early 1900s.

The road does not look much different today.

Which is the best possible reason I know that it should indeed be called a Historic District.

Lincoln Street Nears Historic District Designation

Last night, Westport’s Historic District Commission unanimously supported the creation of a new historic district. Comprising 13 houses on Lincoln Street and 4 on Riverside Avenue — all built between the 1850s and 1930s — the designation could help the town in court, should it oppose a plan for an 81-unit housing development proposed for the area.

Lincoln Street connects Post Road West and Riverside. It is near Kings Highway and Saugatuck Elementary Schools, and Assumption Church.

Here — thanks to alert “06880” reader Tina Torraco — is a glimpse of that historic neighborhood.

Nor’easter Keeps Pounding

More dramatic photos from today’s storm:

The Saugatuck River rises close to its banks. (Photo/Robin Gusick)

A flooded parking garage on Riverside Avenue. (Photo/Robin Gusick)

Meanwhile, firefighters raced to Saugatuck Shores. They trudged through cold water, in high winds, to fight a smoky blaze on Canal Road.

Local builder Oliver Wilson rescued a dog from the house, before the fire department arrived. There was no one else inside.

A fire truck navigates flooded streets. (Photo/Gene Borio)

Firefighters trudged through flooded streets to fight the blaze. (Photo/Jeff Manchester)

Scott Smith’s Concrete Questions

The roads of Westport play an important — if often unrecognized — role in our lives. When we do think about them, it’s in the context of traffic, alternate routes, that sort of thing.

Scott Smith thinks of asphalt and concrete. The longtime Westporter writes:

The autumn flurry of repaving Westport’s road before the asphalt plants shut down for the winter makes me wonder about the status of some other byways around town. I’m thinking of the local streetscapes I travel that are still paved with concrete.

Three spots come to mind: the mile or so along Greens Farms Road between Compo and Hillspoint, and 2 blocks on Riverside — one heading toward the train station, the other from Viva’s to the VFW. Made of poured aggregate cement and laid down in blocks of 20 feet or so, these stretches of old roadway remind me of a time when things were built to last.

Concrete on Greens Farms Road …

But not always. Years ago, while re-landscaping a home I lived in off Imperial Avenue, I dug up a bunch of old concrete blocks. They were odd shapes, most 2 or 3 feet across and all 6 to 8 inches thick, smooth on one side and jagged on the other.

The house was built in 1960, on low-lying property, so I figured they were fill from when construction of the I-95 Turnpike tore through town. The chunks of pavement were a bear to raise up out of the ground, but made great stepping stones. I bet they are still there.

… on Riverside Avenue north of the Cribari Bridge …

It’s probably a state versus town issue, but as I see other local roads in the continual process of getting stripped of asphalt and replaced with new black pavement, I wonder what’s up with these concrete remnants of vintage Westport.

Are there any longtime townies — or people in Public Works — who could let the rest of us know when these roads were first laid down, and how long they might stick around?

… and near the train station. (Photos/Scott Smith)

Friday Flashback #61

Westporters have watched with interest as renovations begin on 1 Wilton Road.

That’s the quaint little building squatting underneath the massive Wright Street office project.

Today it’s one of the many frustrating reasons for back-ups at the Post Road West/Riverside Avenue intersection. Plans to move the building to create a turning lane have been rejected (perhaps to rise again, in the future).

Once upon a time, that section of town was less chaotic. Back in the day, a man could stroll down the middle of State Street — past a still-familiar streetscape that includes National Hall (now The ‘Port restaurant).

But I’m sure turn-of-the-20th-century Westporters found plenty to complain about.

Look at that mud! Those rocks, and the wagon ruts!

And I know some folks thought that watering trough didn’t need to be smack in the center of the road.