Your questions


What is a greenway?
A greenway is a linear open space established along a corridor, such as a river or transportation right of way.  The NRVT will be a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trail that will generally follow the valley of the Norwalk River from Norwalk to Danbury.  It will extend and link existing trail segments in Norwalk, Ridgefield, Wilton, and Danbury, and will add new segments in Redding.  In certain locations, it will run near or through land originally reserved for a transportation corridor.

Following a change in statutory language in the spring of 2009, the CT Department of Transportation was no longer restricted to building a highway within the Super 7 corridor.  The directly affected towns chose to assert their desire to have the right of way used for public enjoyment while providing transportation options.
The first continuous mile of the trail, which begins at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, has already been completed.  We hope to keep the momentum going, and we have set a goal of completing the entire trail in the next five years.

What is the significance of the NRVT for the region?
The trail will be a regional transportation resource that links 5 municipalities in southwestern Connecticut in a unique way.  The hope is that it will be accessible to walkers, runners, cyclists, roller bladers, those pushing strollers, people in wheelchairs – everyone.  It will be a valuable recreational resource and provide a way for everyone to enjoy the region's environmental and natural assets.  But the NRVT is meant also to provide economic and environmental benefits by connecting to rail stations, local businesses and offices, schools, and town shopping areas, and it will complement any future transit-oriented development projects.  For commuters and residents, it should be a viable alternative to automobile transportation.

Who will be able to use the NRVT?
The hope is that the NRVT will be open for pedestrian, bicycle and rollerblade use, and that it will also be suitable for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing when conditions allow for these activities.  It is meant to serve those commuting to work and school, those running errands, and those seeking recreational outlets and exercise.  It will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant.  It will probably be available for people who want to walk pets on a leash.  It will not be available for motorized vehicles, with the exception of emergency vehicles, those used for maintenance, and those used by persons with disabilities.

What effect will the trail have on the value of my home?

This collection of links to studies across the country provides insight:
How Multi-Use Trails Affect Home Values (Links to studies across North America)

Will the public have a say in its design?
Ensuring the public ample opportunities to weigh in on the trail's routing and design is an important part of the planning process.  Volunteers from the five municipalities (Norwalk, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield, and Danbury) through which the trail will pass are already involved in planning.  A public outreach committee is already communicating with the public through the media.  Going forward, this committee will solicit input from the public in a variety of ways, including through a web site, public meetings, and additional opportunities to serve on committees.

How will the trail be financed?
The NRVT planning committee applied for and received a federal Recreational Trails Grant that was administered in Connecticut by the DEP and funded the trail's initial routing study.  The cost of the trail will be estimated as part of the routing study - different sections will likely have greatly varying costs associated with them.  We will also pursue other grants, and will seek funding from other public and private sources as development progresses.  Fundraising events will likely be held in the future.

What is the schedule for the trail's construction?
There is much to do before we can establish a construction schedule.  The first thing we did was obtain funding and conduct a routing study to determine the location and design of the trail. This process included holding public meetings to solicit public input.  Some parts of the trail will take just a few years to construct, while others will take longer as easements or properties need to be acquired.  Donations of land or easements would be the preferred method of obtaining these parts of the trail, but it is reasonable to expect that some land will need to be purchased.  Another source of land may come from development proposals associated with key parcels in keeping with the Plans of Conservation and Development for several of the towns involved in this initiative.

How will the trail be maintained and who will pay for its maintenance?
This is an important question that will have to be answered once the exact routing of the trail has been determined, as the individual municipalities will not know until then how much of the trail runs through their land.  Each town will probably have its own view on these questions.  We will also be exploring regional funding sources.  In addition, we have set up a "Friends of the NRVT" 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation as an option for funding ongoing maintenance either as an independent entity or a municipal partner.