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Stroll Down Fairfield's Black Rock Turnpike? 'I Would Be Terrified!'

MetroCOG's Deputy Directors Mike Pavia and Patrick Carleton, First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart talk while standing along Black Rock Turnpike.
MetroCOG's Deputy Directors Mike Pavia and Patrick Carleton, First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart talk while standing along Black Rock Turnpike. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Respondents to an online survey about safety on Black Rock Turnpike didn’t mince words when asked if they would ride a bike along the bustling route traveled by 20,000 vehicles a day.

“Are you kidding me? I want to live to see tomorrow!” one participant wrote.

What about walking along the road?

“It would be suicidal,” said one.

“I would be terrified!” said another.

Nearly 1,070 people took the online survey available from May through July 2017.

The town’s Bike and Pedestrian Committee’s master plan identified the roadway as a trouble spot in need of improvements and the survey is part of an overall Black Rock Turnpike Safety Study.

Asked if they thought Black Rock Turnpike needed improvements, 56 percent said some safety improvements and maintenance were called for, while another 39 percent favor a “complete redesign.”

Sixty-seven percent said they thought traffic congestion was a problem, citing 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends as particularly tough times.

Sixty-five percent cited speeding as a problem, while 66 percent said unsafe intersections are a concern.

A full 91 percent said they do not bike along the roadway, with another 73 percent saying they don’t walk along it either.

Some said the stretch is too overdeveloped and needs new turn lanes and bike lanes and more crosswalks to make bike and pedestrian traffic more feasible.

“I would love to walk there, but there is no safe continuous pedestrian walkway,” said one.

The study is being funded by the State of Connecticut’s Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP).

Learn more about the study and the survey results here .

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