A new pedestrian crosswalk will be installed at the intersection of Hyde Lane and Maple Avenue North, a point of frequent crossings by children walking to and from Long Lots Elementary School, as well as others going to programs on the school property. / Photos by Gretchen Webster

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — Taking another step to improve traffic and pedestrian safety — particularly near schools — the Board of Selectwomen has approved a new pedestrian crosswalk near Long Lots Elementary School. 

The crosswalk will be installed on Hyde Lane at the street’s intersection with Maple Avenue North.

The project is another safety upgrade resulting from the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Task Force, First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker said when the new crosswalk was approved last Wednesday. 

The intersection upgrade will include ramps compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, a crosswalk sign and a “crosswalk ahead” sign to alert motorists, according to police Cpl. Alan D’Amura, who detailed the plan. The crosswalk will meet national standards set by the Federal Highway Administration, he added.

The intersection is crossed not only by children walking to and from classes at Long Lots, but also by people attending other programs at the school property, D’Amura said.

It will also be the crosswalk nearest to the Westport Community Gardens, adjacent to the school, although the gardens’ future there is uncertain with plans pending for a new school on the Hyde Lane property.

The new crosswalk will be installed by the Department of Public Works as soon as possible, but “it depends on how cold it is for the paint,” D’Amura said.

The need for the crosswalk was brought to the attention of police and town officials by area residents, who had safety concerns given its proximity to the school, he said.

Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism teacher for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for 10 years and teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.