Camillo: Intersection Improvements Are Reimbursable, “No Risk, All Gain”

Submitted by Fred Camillo

The recent BET public hearing brought out many residents who shared their support, concern, and questions about the many projects before the finance board. This was a wonderful example of citizen participation in local government. At this time, I would like to respond to a few people who made public ( and private ) comments about a few of the capital projects in the First Selectman’s capital budget.

First on the list is the proposed intersection safety improvements at Arch Street and Greenwich Avenue. This proposal to enhance public safety is consistent with our town wide efforts to promote pedestrian safety, improve ADA accessibility, encourage walking, and beautify what are basically asphalt boulevards. Contrary to some of what has been said, the cost of the safety improvements will be 100% reimbursed to the Town through a grant funded by WestCOG (Western CT Council of Governments) and the CT Dept. of Transportation (CT DOT).  WestCOG considered this project to be so worthy and vital to pedestrian safety that they used their granting authority to award Greenwich with full reimbursement for this important public safety improvement.

There have also been concerns expressed about whether or not the intersection project will cost the Town any additional parking spaces. It will not. Parking was a major concern of mine and the DPW, which is why we have ensured the addition of 10 to 12 new parking spots with this project. I have spoken with members of the BET and enthusiastically support conditioning the approval to the grant being secured and Municipal Improvement approval. This is a no risk, all gain project that will add to the public safety enhancements of our main business district as well as the beautification now taking place on Greenwich Avenue.

Another project that had some questions was the Glenville beautification endeavor. This is an example of a  public-private partnership that our administration has been working on since Day One in order to get long awaited, much needed, and often long stalled projects completed while keeping the taxpayers in mind. Municipalities all over the nation would love to have such willing, generous, and civic minded private partners to team up with to deliver projects to its residents.

Another capital project that received attention was the Shore Road sidewalk effort in Old Greenwich. That effort, like the other ones I have referenced here, was citizen driven, well researched, and identified as a long time need by the Town of Greenwich. This, and other sidewalk, crosswalk, and intersection safety improvements like the Delavan Avenue proposal in Byram, are being done with the two level approach to deliver public safety enhancements that add, not subtract, to a neighborhood and village’s aesthetic character. They also have the support of the residents in these areas of town. 

With more and more people working remotely from home offices, we strongly believe that encouraging walking, biking, and hiking in as safe a manner as possible is paramount, especially considering the many pedestrian accidents occurring all over the state and country at unprecedented rates ( Governors Highway Safety Association, 2021 ).

Marrying the creation of safer, more functional town intersections with an effort to enhance the overall aesthetic of Greenwich is a win-win for all of our residents.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions and comments on these and any other issue of concern. My Town cell number is 203.585.7800.

Thanks to all those in Town Hall and the various neighborhoods who worked on making these capital projects  priorities that will benefit present day and future residents for decades to come.

Fred Camillo 

First Selectman

Town of Greenwich