Norwalk’s Wall Street and West Avenue corridor will receive more than $4 million in investments over the next 12 to 18 months to improve the area’s infrastructure, according to Mayor Harry Rilling.
The investments will be made in streetscape and roadway improvements; traffic signal replacements and upgrades; pay stations and signs; milling, paving, and line striping; enhancements to the Yankee Doodle Garage, and fencing for Freese Park.
Rilling said the enhancements were included in the budgetary process over a year ago, have gone through the proper approvals and now are ready to be rolled out in the 2019-20 construction season.
“These projects improve mobility and safety in the area, help create customer turnover for local businesses, and enhance existing neighborhood resources” the mayor said. “We continue to work closely with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to identify key projects across the City that enhance the quality of life. We intend to carry this approach forward through the next budgetary process.”
Since January 2015, more than 200 people have been involved in nearly 100 accidents along Wall Street. Of those, there were 31 injuries and one fatality. Additionally, four pedestrians were struck at intersections.
The parking improvements – which include nine new parking spaces via the addition of reverse-angle parking – come in direct response to requests from the business community and factor in the anticipated growth of pedestrian and bike traffic, Rilling said.
In addition to the parking spaces and pay meters, new bike lanes have been installed along East Wall Street near the Mill Hill Historic Park and Norwalk Historical Society. In the coming months, new sidewalks will also be installed throughout the Wall Street/West Avenue Corridor.
“In a downtown center like the Wall Street district, curbside parking spots typically produce $100,000 or more in retail and restaurant business per year. With 18 additional spots, we have the potential for $1.8 million per year for the area,” said Jud Aley, a member of the Norwalk Parking Authority Board. “In addition, new bike lanes and speed calming elements increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, while providing connectivity between neighborhoods.”