The proposed Merritt Parkway Trail would be a multi-use trail along the entire 38-mile length the Merritt Parkway right-of-way. 

The Trail Would:

  • Create for its users a safe east-west route through congested Southwestern Connecticut
  • Encourage bicycling and walking – alternative modes of transportation – between residential, commercial and recreational areas, employment centers, shopping, a university and schools, all located along the length of the Merritt
  • Abate pollution and noise by replacing automobile trips
  • Create a place for exercise, not just by bicyclists but also by joggers, dog walkers, rollerbladers, cross country skiers and wheelchair users
  • Enable users to enjoy the beauty of the Merritt, instead of experiencing it through the windscreen of their cars at highway speed
  • Create tourist destinations and sources of economic development
  • Close the gap in an essential piece of the 2,900 mile, Maine to Florida, East Coast Greenway
  • Create a very popular recreational amenity.

‪Where multi-use trails have been built, they have been heavily used. For example, a study by the Farmington Valley Trails Council estimated that its 38-mile system in a relatively rural area of upstate Connecticut was used 252,215 times in 2013. Usage is higher in more densely-populated areas. The Charles River Bike Path, between Boston and Waltham MA was used 1,109,814 times per year, and the Hudson River Greenway in New York was used 1,402,330 times per year.

‪The Merritt Parkway Trail would transform an underutilized asset, the Merritt right-of-way, into an amenity that would make a very positive contribution to the quality of life in southwestern Connecticut.

More Info

For a discussion of usage of bicycle facilities Click Here 

For usage of the Farmington Valley Trail system Click Here

For a discussion of the development of the Merritt Parkway, Click Here

For the website of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, Click Here

For a description and Map of the Housatonic Rail Trail, Click Here

For a map of the Pequonnock Rail Trail, Click Here

For descriptions of the regional networks of bicycle and pedestrian facilities of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, Click Here and the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council, Click Here

For the Conn/DOT’s website for the Merritt Parkway Multi-use Trail Feasibility Study, Click Here

Click a link below to review the CT DOT plan sheets by town:
Greenwich
Stamford
New Canaan
Norwalk
Wesport
Fairfield

For Information on the discussions of the effect of multi-use trails on home values and safety, see:

For “Property Value/Desirability Effects of Bike Paths Adjacent to Residential Areas” from the College of Human Services, Education, & Public Policy at the University of Delaware 2006, Click Here

For  “Trail Effects on Neighborhoods: Home Value, Safety, Quality of Life” by American Trails.org, Click Here

For “Rail-Trails and Safe Communities: The Experience on 372 Trails” by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and National Park Service, 1998, Click Here

For a discussion if the costs of bicycle facilities, Click Here