We assist our towns in planning for safe, inviting and convenient facilities and places for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Nearly all people are pedestrians at some point during any trip, whether it be walking to and from their car in a parking lot, walking to a transit stop, or by completing the entire journey by foot. Given the important role of walking in our transportation system, the NVCOG actively plans for pedestrians and people with a mobility impairment who are dependent upon wheelchairs or other means of physical assistance.
For more information please view the NVCOG Regional Pedestrian Plan.
Biking is an inexpensive, healthy alternative to travelling by car. However, local roadways most often lack design attributes and, often, drivers lack training on how to accommodate bicyclist on our roadways or are unfamiliar with state laws related to bicyclist use of roads. To help improve the safety and accessibility of biking within the region, the NVCOG is in the process of developing a regional bicycle plan. The plan will focus on providing safe, comfortable facilities for all users such as cycle tracks, bike lanes, bike routes, and shared roadways.
Multi-use trails, also referred to as shared-use paths, are paved or compacted off-road facilities that separate bicyclists, walkers, and others from motor vehicle traffic. While often viewed as recreational paths, well sited and designed trails can function as a viable transportation option. These facilities provide safe, secure, comfortable and healthy places for walkers and bicyclists without the encumbrances of motor vehicles. They have also been found to generate substantial economic and health benefits to host communities.
There are several multi-use trails in the Naugatuck Valley region:
- Naugatuck River Greenway Trail: Completed sections in Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, and Naugatuck with new sections in design in Waterbury, Watertown and Thomaston.
- Larkin State Bridle Trail: This is a Connecticut State Park Trail that follows the historic route of the New York and New England Railroad for 10 miles from Naugatuck through Middlebury and Oxford to Southbury.
- Farmington Canal Heritage Trail: The FCHT is an 84-mile trail from New Haven, CT to Northampton, MA. It is part of the East Coast Greenway. In the region, it passes through Cheshire.
- Middlebury Greenway: The trail follows the historic trolley bed that once connected Waterbury to Woodbury and generally parallels Route 64. It is about 4.5 miles long.
- Steele Brook Greenway (SBG) Trail. This trail is a planned 4.5-mile path in Watertown mostly following an old rail bed that once carried freight and passengers. Only a short section of trail has been constructed.
- Shelton River Walk: This paved trail is located along the Housatonic River within the downtown area. Connections to the NRG Trail are in design.
- Sue Grossman Trail: This trail is located in Torrington, outside of the region, but plans are underway to connect it to the NRG trail.
Streets are an integral part of our cities and towns, providing and facilitating the movement of people and goods, but too often they are built to accommodate only cars. The NVCOG is committed to developing street environments that can accommodate and are safe for all users. This is referred to as “Complete Streets.” Complete Streets enable people of all ages and abilities to move safely and efficiently by all modes – on foot, bicycle, car and bus. The NVCOG is working on developing a Complete Streets Policy for the region.
The NVCOG attempts to include complete streets elements in all projects and is integrating bicycling and walking/rolling needs into our projects, plans and programs. Examples of complete streets elements are included in the following projects: