Gunzburg & Cowie: ADA TOG Liability Due to Inaction on Municipal Improvement at Arch & Grigg Streets

Submitted by Alan Gunzburg and Stephanie Cowie, First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities chair and vice chair

We appreciate all those who played an integral part in this process, bringing the Arch Street Greenwich Avenue Intersection Improvements to this point. This project, developed by our Town of Greenwich Department of Public Works expert team, received all of the required TOG approvals. Additionally, the collaboration of the various Town entities, P&Z, Greenspace Committee, Dr. Greg Kramer, Historical Society, Veterans, GA Business owners, and the public has developed the final design that has been brought back to the RTM.

This project is funded solely via a grant from the State of CT. The State of CT is awarding this grant because this area has been identified as a risk to public safety. The last word of that sentence, safety, should cause a pause to think of the ramifications and risk to the Town for not completing the necessary ADA and safety revisions to Arch & Grigg Streets. Thoughtful discussion with all stakeholders has taken place, and collaboration with all parties has ultimately provided a much-improved design.

With the upcoming 33rd anniversary of the ADA the necessity to begin to remediate the glaring non compliance in the town is more urgent now than ever before. We need to fix the sidewalks, crosswalks, curb ramps, parking, our public parks and our public schools. These non compliant areas put the Town of Greenwich in a position of risk. Risk to lawsuits, and DOJ consent decrees that will force the town to remedy the situation plus penalties.

The part that screams insanity to us is that our legislative body, the (RTM), and the BET, the parts of government that should be the most risk averse, act with reckless regard to their responsibility to not financially harm our town. Delaying this approval will place the grant money in jeopardy. Here are the facts about the project:

  • The projects adds 2000 Square feet of greenspace
  • There is no impact to any trees (Dr. Kramer Tree Warden is involved)
  • The sidewalk is planned for a five (5) foot width
  • The plan proposes no retaining walls
  • There is no impact to the monuments or monumental trees.
  • The Historic District Sign will be relocated in coordination with the Historic Preservation Group that was instrumental in the original installation
  • All parking spaces meet State/Town standards
  • The two crosswalks are separated by a refuge island. Each crosswalk shortens the time pedestrians are required to cross the roadway
  • The slip lane is stop controlled and designed to meet the needs of the trucks and other emergency vehicles that use these roadways
  • New Parking is designated to be consistent with Greenwich Avenue and a total of 12 new stalls are being added

The First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities stand in support of the Muncipal Improvement for the completion of the Greenwich Avenue Intersection Improvements at Arch and Grigg Streets.