Darien, New Canaan top officials ponder Waveny-to-beaches bike routes

The New Canaan bike rider’s view of part of Pear Tree Point Beach and Long Island Sound upon arrival Saturday, June 16, 4 p.m. — Greg Reilly photo

Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson told a group of New Canaan residents and officials late last month that she and New Canaan First Selectman Kevin Moynihan are putting their heads together to designate some bike routes to promote use by citizens who want to enjoy each other’s town.

The outlining of routes is now in the early stages.

Darien’s two Town beaches are accessible for no charge to New Canaan residents, and other visitors, who ride a bicycle or walk in. Non-resident visitors in a vehicle can gain entry to the two beaches — Pear Tree Point Beach and Weed Beach — with a daily pass costing $45.

Waveny Park has always been open to any and all visitors from dawn to dusk.

‘Something fun’

As Stevenson told the Advertiser on June 21, “We want to formalize and market something that already exists;” that is, the openness of each other’s parks. The idea is to designate and suggest a variety of routes for people to ride on their own.

“Why not leverage our beautiful communities and make something fun of it?,” Stevenson said. She described New Canaan and Darien as friendly with one another and said she looks forward to collaborating with Moynihan and the staffs in the respective Town Halls to make the project a reality.

This idea of connecting communities is consistent with the state Department of Transportation’s idea of having “complete streets, she said. Stevenson is in the middle of a campaign for lieutenant governor of the state and is one of three candidates who will be on the Republican Primary ballot in August.

One loop

The editor of the New Canaan Advertiser took a bike ride from New Canaan to Pear Tree Point Beach and back last Saturday, June 16. From Lakeview Avenue, which is a quarter-mile south of Elm Street, to the Darien beach at a leisurely pace took 30 minutes. The distance was 7.7 miles.

The ride is virtually all downhill to the Post Road and then flat. The route was White Oak Shade to Brookside, south to the Post Road in Darien, then to Old Kings Highway, Goodwives River Road to Pear Tree Point.

The return trip chosen, 8 miles, was up Ring’s End Road to the Post Road, then left, past Lawrence Funeral Home, then right onto Coachlamp, and north on Gardiner and Hollow Tree Ridge Road, which turns into Lapham Road at the Talmadge Hill Community Church. Then a quarter-mile straight up to Waveny Park.

The return trip took 43 minutes, including a stop for some sips of water. It is a gradual upgrade from the Post Road to Middlesex Middle School and then it flattens out for the balance to New Canaan.

[FOR BIKE ROUTE #2, WAVENY TO WEED BEACH, POSTED JULY 6, CLICK HERE.]

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