Danbury received a $225,000 grant for the Downtown Danbury Transit Oriented Development Study.
Consultants will draw up designs for new streetscape improvements to enhance pedestrian conditions between different modes of transit. Input from a listening session last night will be taken into consideration.
Planning Director Sharon Calitro says the end goal is to have a more walkable, inviting area while also incentivizing private investment. One area being studied is how to link bus riders to the train station. Calitro says that could include co-location of the bus station, Pulse Point pickup, closer to the Metro North station.
Another area that officials will study is whether it makes sense to invest in additional public parking. There is a possibility of making share-a-lanes to make downtown more bike-friendly. Those are shared bike and vehicle lanes. Calitro says they're looking at that option rather than a dedicated lane because of the physical layout of downtown streets.
Another follow up meeting will be held as they get closer to finalizing the plan. The proposal will also have to go to the City Council.
Danbury is applying for another state grant related to streetscape improvements. If awarded, the money would be used for construction to improve pedestrian access on Main Street to the Metro North station. That would could include sidewalk improvements, planting trees and installing benches or other pedestrian amenities.
Danbury is seeking $2 million. While it's not a matching grant, the City has decided to allocate $200,000 or 10-percent, if awarded. City officials say this will give Danbury a better chance of being selected for grant funding.