The walking/riding trail proposed along the Merritt Parkway will be 10 feet wide with an additional "2-foot (non-paved) set back on either side," equaling approximately 14 feet.
When I asked how many trees would be cut down in the woods for this trail, I was told "a lot." Trees do absorb sound as well as some of the noxious fumes from the car emissions.
It also came up during the meeting that the state has no budget to replace the multitude of trees which have already been cut down this year on the Merritt.
Two years ago at the meeting, I came away with the idea that the $1.25 million federal grant was for the erection of this trail, but in fact it was for the study which has been done. While the study was very detailed and well done, the presenter mentioned that there were no monies at all from the state or federal government for the $200 million to $250 million estimated at this time. There is thus no money for its upkeep or maintenance.
How many people will actually use it? While some bikers may ride into one of our parks or delis, I wonder how many will be coming to shop or dine, or will be riding to work on it.
For safety purposes, it will be fenced on both sides. Wire fencing was shown, which really set me back. The natural woodland vista we have along the Merritt will definitely be impacted. Those who live close to the Merritt and have little land between themselves and the parkway, will have most of their mature trees and natural blockage removed.
While the bikers were well represented, I wonder exactly how many of them will be riding on a route where you have to get on and off -- the longest actual stretch in New Canaan was a little over a mile long.
Finally, someone mentioned that New York City had dealt with jogging and biking along highways. Although people do jog and bike along highways in New York City, what is the long-term effect on their respiratory systems?