Letter: Vote for the Pathway

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for the proposed multi-use pathway between Helen Keller Middle School and Silverman’s Farm. The primary reason for the pathway is simple – there is a clear and present danger for people walking on the side of the road, especially middle school students. Some people walk side-by-side on the shoulder of the road which is especially precarious.

The Easton Planning & Zoning Commission has carefully studied and vetted this situation for many months and they have designed a pathway which will make the situation safer and also bring a sense of community as it will connect the middle school and newly renovated playground to EVS and beyond. The P&Z person who was primarily responsible for the design of the pathway is Justin Giorlando whose background includes over seven years in transportation engineering as a Project Design Leader at the Connecticut Department of Transportation and almost five years as an officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps overseeing design and construction projects around the world.

The cost of the pathway will be $1,247,000 of which $997,600 (or 80% of the total cost) will be paid for through a government grant set aside for bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects. If Easton does not use the grant for the pathway, the grant will be rescinded and given to another town.

Some have suggested the pathway will detract from Easton’s rural character. I disagree since it will increase foot traffic between two Easton farms which are the bedrock of our town, so we should do all we can to facilitate their business. The pathway has the support of the current and former Easton chiefs of police and the principal of Helen Keller Middle School.

Please vote in favor of the pathway on March 30 to keep our community safe and make Easton a friendlier place.

Jim Riling