Monday, December 5, 2011

President of Wesleyan Hills Association Calls For Changes To Bike Path Plan

Joyce Rossiter, President of the Wesleyan Hill Association, and Secretary of the Planning and Zoning Commission, sent the following statement regarding the Bike Path proposal to be considered at the Common Council meeting tonight.

The proposal, first announced on November 17th, would authorize the city to apply for a federal grant to build a bicycle path from Wesleyan Hills to the downtown, allowing bicyclists and pedestrians to travel between home, work, and downtown, on off-road bicycle paths. The Planning Department has made the details available:
It has been less than a week since the announcement about the proposed bikeway in Middletown linking Wesleyan Hills along Long Hill Road to Wesleyan University and downtown,

Prominent in the few details available is the frequent mention of “Existing bike paths in Wesleyan Hills.” These paths are marked as such on the official maps showing the route of the proposed bikeway. While not actually linking with the Wesleyan Hills pathway, the proposed bikeway begins within a few feet of one of these paths.

The implication is that these paths were designed for bikes and that the public is free to use them.

This is an unwelcome surprise to the residents of Wesleyan Hills. The Wesleyan Hills Association was not included in any planning of the route, nor was it asked for its approval of the mention of its pathways prior to the public announcement.

These pathways are privately owned and maintained footpaths three to four feet wide. The residents consider them as primarily for pedestrians. Several are quite steep and have steps. Clearly these are not “bike paths.”

The residents of Wesleyan Hills spent thousands of dollars just in the last month repaving several of these paths. They consider their use for residents only. The thought of cyclists whizzing past them as they walk on these paths alarms many of them.

I ask that the mention of “existing bike paths” be removed from your proposal.

Further, the proposed route begins at the entrance to the Association’s parking lot. This is not marked as private on these maps implying that the public is free to use it.

I ask that the parking lot be marked “private.”

Joyce Rossitter
President, Wesleyan Hills Association


John deBoer said...

But who other than residents would ever be going there in the first place?

John Hall said...

Director of Planning, Conservation, and Development Bill Warner has responded to Joyce Rossiter and assured her that there is no intention of inviting the public onto Wesleyan Hills paths or parking areas. On the contrary, signs will be posted if necessary to notify the public of private areas and paths. The path route was chosen in part because it would be an amenity to Wesleyan Hills where there is a high density of residents. The project should benefit Wesleyan Hill homeowners since they will be in a position to use the trail most easily and because such trails usually increased property values nearby. Mr. Warner has assured Ms. Rossiter that Wesleyan Hills footpaths will be removed from the drawings of the proposed multi-use trail.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, federal grant money (i.e., tax payer money) will be used to enhance the Wesleyan Hills paths directly benefitting Wesleyan Hills residents & quite possibly increasing their property values and Joyce Rossiter is complaining? And, to add insult to injury she wants "non" residents to keep out. I hope that the Council has the good sense to vote this proposal down across the board. Spend the grant money where all citizens will benefit and be welcome.

Anonymous said...

Making Middletown a more bike and pedestrian friendly place is a fantastic idea. I would like to see sidewalks on Saybrook Road-beginning at Stop&Shop and ending at Summer Hill and Woodbury apt. Many of our residents walk to shopping with strollers and children in tow-the road is dimly lit, void of sidewalks and crosswalks making it a perilous trip. Pleas consider in the future

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous (7:05 pm) - the safety of all citizens is more important than bike paths - more sidewalks and better lighting is needed all over Middletown.

Anonymous said...

Rossiter was at the public meeting, heard all about the route and saw the plans and saw that the plan is NOT touching their paths. Then she went back to her association and told them there are no details and the city is using the Wesleyan Hills paths.

Seems a little strange to me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wesleyan Hills babies I can't wait to ride on you paths.

Hey Middletown spend the money elsewhere in town where people want it if these clowns are going to whine.

Bike paths to the high school and vets park sound good.

Elizabeth Bobrick said...

Ms. Rossiter's statement, although as worthy of consideration as those of anyone else, do not necessarily represent those of all Wesleyan Hills residents. If there was a Wesleyan Hills owners' association meeting on this topic, it wasn't announced, at least to my knowledge.

Wesleyan Hills is a big development. In the part of where I live, we have one truncated walking path, not the extensive network that exists in the other parts.

I hope that any decisions about the bike path's future will be made on its own merits.

Anonymous said...

Eminent domain. The bike paths should be public. Very selfish to eliminate the foot paths. Sounds like Wes Hills folks are just NIMBY complainers. Drew should turn over the free mayor car and use this thing everyday to get to work.

Anonymous said...

The public voted Ms. Rossitter onto P&Z - you get what you vote for!

Bike Locks said...

The residents of Wesleyan Hills spent thousands of dollars just in the last month repaving several of these paths. They consider their use for residents only.