The town of Fairfield received a $1.2 million grant for improvements to the Kings Highway East and Commerce Drive area.
The federally funded grant, which was recently approved by town bodies, was received from the Connecticut Department of Transportation through the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program and will enable the town to make improvements along Kings Highway East from Chambers Street to Brentwood Avenue.
The funding will be used to construct new sidewalks and curbs along both north and south sides, with median improvements for improved pedestrian access and aesthetics. There will also be ADA compliant handicap ramps installed at intersections. Bicycle amenities, such as bike racks, signs and bike parking will also be included, as well as possible bike routes, according to First Selectman Mike Tetreau.
The town applied for the grant following a public informational meeting held last June where requests were made to improve and encourage more walking and biking in this area.
Design for this project is expected to start Spring 2014 and be completed around October 2014. Construction should begin April 2015 with project completion around December 2015, according to Tetreau.
New research from the National Center for Safe Routes to School—based on parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 U.S. schools from 2007 to 2012—shows that more K-8 students are walking to and from school across the country.
According to the data, the percentage of K-8 children who walked to school in the morning increased from 12.4 percent to 15.7 percent (representing a 27 percent increase). Similarly, the percentage of K-8 children who walked from school in the afternoon increased from 15.8 percent to 19.7 percent (representing a 24 percent increase).
Another significant finding of this research was that the percentage of parents who reported that their child’s school supporting walking and bicycling for the school commute rose from 24.9 percent to 33 percent.
Although walking increased among students who attended low-, medium- and high-income schools, walking increased especially among students who attended low-income schools (schools where at least 75 percent of students were eligible to receive free or reduced price meals).
There was a small but statistically significant decrease in bicycling to school between 2007 and 2012, from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent in both the morning and afternoon. And using the bus decreased significantly between 2007 and 2012. Within one mile of school, the largest shift between travel modes occurred between busing and walking, with busing decreasing significantly and walking increasing significantly.
The full report, Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2012, analyzed parent survey data collected by nearly 4,700 schools located in all states and DC from 2007 through 2012. The surveys represent more than 525,000 K-8 school children across the country.
Stamford city leaders announced the completion of the Hope Street project. The project, which started in April, widened a a stretch of Hope Street, which added pedestrian signaling and other safety and cosmetic improvements that are geared to improve traffic flow.
The project that was just completed includes new concrete sidewalks with a buffer of ornamental brick pavers between the sidewalk and curb line, which will improve the street's appearance. Existing crosswalks were improved with new striping and curb cut ramps that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The improved crosswalks also included pedestrian signaling to improve safety,