Margerie Reservoir Trail a misconception

For the editor,

“Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it”. This saying resonates more and more with each passing day; from the smallest to the biggest problems. In the grand scheme of things, it may seem like the first, but in local issues, it does indeed loom large in New Fairfield.

The proposed Margerie Reservoir Trail is a misconception in practice while in concept it is appealing. Consider the following:

Rte. 37 serves over 50% of the city’s residents and a large portion of Sherman’s on a daily basis when commuting to and from work, shopping in Danbury, traveling, etc. Asking residents to put up with five years of lane closures – and like most projects there will be delays – is unconscionable. Do you remember the fiasco that became the Barnum-to-Stacey road project? New residents of Fairfield and Sherman will suffer the greatest inconvenience as fewer residents of Danbury are affected.

Who will use this sidewalk? I don’t think much. Does “hey, let’s take a walk next to speeding cars spitting out noxious exhaust fumes” sound appealing? Of those who do, where will they park?

How will the inevitable clashes between pedestrians and cyclists play out? Cyclists will naturally prefer a sidewalk to the road and given the frayed nerves and discourtesy that seem to be increasing daily across the country, I am not optimistic about peaceful resolutions.

It will cost 2-3.5 million dollars? I do not think so. Expect massive cost overruns; there always are. I strongly suspect there may be an additional motive here, to use the project as a way to simultaneously lay pipes for sewer lines, an unresolved issue that not all New Fairfield residents are behind.

Please ask yourself and your friends and neighbors, are you all willing to spend $3.5 million – or probably more – on a project that few will use? Are you willing to spend countless minutes and hours idling in traffic waiting for that open lane to be in your favor? Are you willing to endure this for five years or more? If not, I urge you to contact the NF Board of Selectmen – Pat DelMonaco, Khris Hall, Lori-Ann Beninson.

Also contact the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WESTCog) at 1 Riverside Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482 or by phone at 475-323-2060; Danbury City Council President Vinny DiGilio at [email protected]; David Day, Danbury Utilities Superintendent, at 203-797-4637; Antonio Iadarola, director of public works for Danbury, at 203-797-4537; Peter Hearn, Jeff Main and Ann Marie Mellas, new residents of Fairfield, and tell them what a misconception that is.

If this was a path for people to enjoy nature and some peace, placing this project on the west side of the reservoir might be much less inconvenient for thousands of people, but much more attractive to walkers.

Tom Perkins

New fairground

About Ethel Partin

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