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More than Just Paint on the Roads

Mayor Rilling Announces Bike/Walk Task Force

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Norwalk, CT | Added on May 15, 2014 At 09:38 AM

"I bet if you looked in every garage, shed, storage unit, you will find dust covered bikes because people are afraid to ride on the streets," said Michael Mushak, Co-Chair of the Norwalk Bike/Walk Task Force.

As the weather becomes warmer, residents may want to start biking more often. The City's Bike/Walk Task Force wants to make sure it's safe to do so.

"Bicycling is becoming a much more popular and energy efficient way to get to and from your destination. There's been a lot of discussion about the lack of bicycle lanes in the City of Norwalk," said Mayor Harry Rilling during the announcment of the formation of the Bike/Walk Task Force Thursday morning, a day for National Bike to Work Day. 

Research has already been done on how the bike lanes and City's infrastructure can be improved.

"When you pay over a million dollars to have experts come in and tell you what you need to do, and then you ignore it, I think that is irresponsible and a waste of the tax payers money," said Mayor Rilling, referencing the Pedesestrian and Bikeway Transportation Plan that was completed by the Planning and Zoning Department in 2012.

"The cost of this infrastructure is really not very high. Bike lanes can cost anywhere between 5 thousand and 15 thousand dollars per mile to install because most of the time it is just paint," added Mushak.

Members of the task force say it's about more than just paint on the road.

Andy Garfunkel, member of the task force said, "In a day when the youth epidemic of obesity is out there; I think as youth we all rode our bikes as kids, everybody had a bike. I don't think that is a prevalent in today's society and this is another opportunity to get children and families out on bicycles in our community."

Jud Aley, another task force member said, "If someone is riding a bicycle in downtown Norwalk somewhere, it's much easier for them to stop, pull over, lean the bike up in front of a store and run in for a minute. Whereas if they are in a car they have to search [for parking]. So it's great for small business. I think in Norwalk we really need to encourage and help small businesses in every way we can."

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