The purpose of this study is to identify strategies to increase access to parking at selected rail stations in Darien and Norwalk. Initial study efforts focused on the five rail stations located in Darien and Norwalk - Darien Center, East Norwalk, Noroton Heights, Rowayton and South Norwalk. The study assessed:
- Current use of parking facilities (state, local, private) serving the rail stations;
- Current and projected demand for parking;
- Regularity and frequency of rail service and the likelihood of expanded service;
- Potential neighborhood-level impacts of expanded parking or changes to parking access; Availability of adjacent land that could support expanded parking; and
- Availability of transit, bicycle and pedestrian connections.
As a result of this baseline assessment, two stations - Noroton Heights and South Norwalk - were selected for additional review and the identification of options for improving access to rail services. The options are intended to:
- Improve efficiency of existing parking facilities at both stations;
- Identify opportunities for the expansion of parking facilities; and
- Recommend neighborhood-level strategies that support additional use of rail stations.
Options were identified by SWRPA and its consultant in partnership with the Town of Darien, the City of Norwalk and an advisory committee. Participation from rail commuters and persons living or working in the vicinity of these stations also was solicited through a series of media releases, distribution of a commuter questionnaire and a series of commuter "meet and greets" held at the Noroton Heights and South Norwalk Stations during morning and afternoon peak periods.
Study recommendations include:
- Use of systems management techniques - such as improving layout of surface parking lots and wayfinding - to make optimal use of existing facilities should be implemented prior to investment in new parking facilities.
- Use of demand management techniques - such as pricing incentives to encourage use of underutilized parking lots - should be implemented prior to investment in new parking facilities.
- Enhanced lighting and clearly marked pedestrian walkways should be installed to improve safety and security.
- Improve transit connections, bicycle facilities and pedestrian walkways to encourage more persons to access the station by means other than the automobile.
- At Noroton Heights station, build a pedestrian bridge to improve linkage between remote parking facilities and the station platform.
- At South Norwalk station, pursue opportunities for station area development and shared parking facilities.
The study products include:
- Final Report
- Fact Sheets
South Western Regional Planning Agency
Edwards and Kelcey
If you have comments or would like additional information, please contact:
Senior Regional Transportation Coordinator
888 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT 06901