August 14, 2023
After a successful completion of the Transportation Master Plan, the City of Norwalk is putting efforts into motion to improve the accessibility, safety, and convenience of the streets in Norwalk, CT. To that end, the department of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking is commencing The Norwalk Complete Streets Project. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of this project, a comprehensive timeline, and opportunities for involvement.
What Are Complete Streets?
“Complete streets” are designed and operated with the safety, mobility, and accessibility needs of users of all ages and abilities in mind. They are streets that are safe and convenient for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers of all ages and abilities.
The Norwalk Complete Streets Policy and Design Manual will help build a network of complete streets through the development of two critical documents:
- A Complete Street Policy, Ordinance, and Integration Plan: This document will institutionalize and streamline the integration of complete streets elements into future municipal transportation planning and land use decisions. The ordinance will establish procedures for evaluating street projects to ensure that they meet the needs of all users. The integration plan will provide recommendations for the procedures of additional City departments which will be affected by the adoption of complete streets.
- A Complete Streets Design Guide: This will guide the design, construction, and implementation of the complete streets ordinance. The design guide will include recommended lane widths, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, stormwater management techniques, and other strategies for different types of roads.
Why Complete Streets
Complete streets planning is about more than mobility choices. It’s about the examination of how transportation infrastructure impacts the ability of residents and visitors to access employment and key services, enjoy recreation and cultural amenities, and live healthy lives, among many other factors. The implementation of complete streets policies and guidelines is deeply tied to municipal priorities: should the city prioritize equity, safety, livability, and connectivity in transportation decision-making?
This plan will build upon the numerous planning efforts the city has already undertaken to promote safety and accessibility for all roadway users, and will incorporate the aspirational goals of the recently completed Transportation Master Plan. This initiative will maintain the high level of community engagement for a complete streets policy in the city. The plan will promote economic sustainability and resiliency through sound design and policy recommendations for balanced development. Finally, it will provide the City of Norwalk with a toolbox and strategies to implement complete streets improvements in a responsive and efficient manner.
- Existing Policy Review, Best Practices Research, and Stakeholder Interviews (Winter – Spring 2023)
- Network Analysis (Current)
- Policy Development (Current)
- Walkability Workshop, Public Workshop, and Demonstration Project (Current, continues through Fall 2023)
- Design Manual Development (Fall – Winter 2023)
Stay Informed and Get Involved
It is our goal for residents, business owners, and stakeholders to be able to give input and collaborate on the creation of the Complete Streets Policy and Design Guide. Opportunities for collaboration and engagement will include:
Steering Advisory Committee: A group of local leaders and public officials that will be among the first to review study documents and provide feedback before they are finalized.
Online App/ Survey: A survey to help the project team identify participants’ familiarity with complete streets elements and agree with the manual’s goals and vision.
Workshop: The project team will hold a workshop to educate residents about complete streets, gather input on what it’s like walking, biking, taking transit, driving, and parking in Norwalk, and provide input into the plan for the demonstration project. The workshop will allow participants to have direct input into the design of streets.
Demonstration Project: The City will be sponsoring a demonstration project, which will allow the public to see one of the plan’s recommendations in place as part of a temporary installation. The public is invited to give feedback about what is and is not working before more substantial investments are made.
Check this webpage regularly for updates on opportunities for community engagement.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact the project team using: CompleteStreets@norwalkct.gov
Or visit the Norwalk, CT Transportation, Mobility, and Parking website.