- Submitted by Eric Weis, Bike Walk CT Member and Trail Program Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance
I'll bet the Merritt Parkway was a wonderful experience, once upon a time. It looks idyllic in those vintage photographs; it was designed to be enjoyed. No wonder they named it "parkway" rather than "highway".
For most motorists today, the Merritt has never lived up to its moniker. These days it's a "parkway" mainly when congestion is so bad that traffic is at a standstill, and you shift your car into park so you can stretch your legs a bit. The trees are beautiful, but difficult to enjoy when you're bumper-to-bumper, stressed out, or going 65 with the next car just 10 feet from your rear bumper.
But here we are, 80+ years after the Merritt Parkway was built, with an opportunity to put the "park" back in "parkway" - by creating the Merritt Park Trail! Have you ever wanted to truly enjoy the trees, the landscape, and the geologic outcroppings? Only when we're on foot, bike, or horseback will we truly have a "park" experience along the parkway.
Early this year, ConnDOT will bring its recommendations for creation of a Merritt Park Trail to the people in Merritt Parkway towns, through a series of town meetings. We urge you to join us for these meetings to express your opinions and demonstrate your support for public parks, safe and healthy recreation, new venues for exercise, and new options for green transportation. A Merritt Park Trail will expand opportunities for each of these in the towns along the Parkway. Those meetings will be scheduled soon, and we'll keep you apprised.
Learn more about this great project at http://www.merrittparkwaytrail.org.
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