Greenlink: Police Commission OK’s Request for Crosswalk on Oenoke at Nature Center

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The greenlink connects with Oenoke Ridge just south of the main road into the New Canaan Nature Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

The Police Commission voted 3-0 last week to request state approval for a crosswalk on Oenoke Ridge near the driveway to the New Canaan Nature Center.

The crosswalk would help pedestrians using the “greenlink” trail that runs through Irwin Park, Land Trust and Nature Center property get across Route 124 and onto a sidewalk that runs along the eastern side of Oenoke Ridge.

“It’s always good to connect the walking trails and encourage people to walk and stay on the sidewalks and not cross in the middle of a road,” Police Deputy Chief John DiFederico said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Feb. 19 in the training room at New Canaan Police Department headquarters. 

Commission Chair Paul Foley, Secretary Jim McLaughlin and Sperry DeCew voted in favor seeking state approval for the crosswalk.

The new “greenlink” trail opened on Earth Day two years ago. It runs from downtown New Canaan up Elm Street and along Weed Street through Irwin Park, then along a sidewalk north of the park and into the woods, where it connects with Nature Center property. Conservation and open space advocates now are seeking funds to restore the Bristow Bird Sanctuary behind Mead Park in order to extend the greenlink trail further and connect it with Waveny.

Foley said the only question he had about the crosswalk was the safety of pedestrians using it given the speed of vehicles on Oenoke Ridge.

“Traffic comes through there very fast,” he said.

DiFederico noted that the Nature Center entrance is along a straightaway so there are good sight lines for motorists. Officials also noted that there’s already a crosswalk further down 124 near Oenoke Lane and the sharp turn toward God’s Acre. 

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