Recently the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced it would offer preliminary support for investigating the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian trail along the Merritt Parkway.
At the Merritt Parkway’s ground-breaking ceremony in 1934 Congressman Schuyler Merritt, who the road is named after, said, “This great highway is not being constructed for rapid transit, but for pleasant transit.”
The same could be said for the proposal to build a 37 and a half mile non-motorized trail in a wooded corridor just south of the Parkway. The path would fit within the 300-foot right of way that parallels the road .
Linda Hoza of the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance says her group first came up with the idea in the early 1990s.
“It’s been about 17 years and we’re absolutely thrilled that D.O.T. finally agrees that it’s a good idea to re-look at this. We’re just thrilled that they’re on board now and they’re not opposed to using the road for this purpose.”
Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, says the agency supports the concept of a multi-use trail, but stressed the D.O.T. has only agreed to look into the project. The Trail Alliance’s long-term goal is to build a path from Greenwich to Stratford. But first a one-mile pilot project in Stamford is being considered. The Department of Environmental Protection says it strongly supports the development of the trail.