The South Western Regional Planning Association (SWRPA) announced that a public information meeting will be held for the Route 7 Transportation and Land Use Study. The public will have an opportunity to hear about the study status, the vision for the corridor, and provide input about issues and opportunities for improvement along Route 7.

The public information meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, in the cafeteria at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road, Wilton. It will begin with an open house to view study area maps and existing conditions data at 6:30 p.m., followed by a presentation on the study at 7 p.m. and then a question period.

Area residents, business owners, commuters, and all interested parties are encouraged to attend this meeting. Public opinion and information collected will be an important component in developing an improvement plan for Route 7.

The study will focus on Route 7 within Danbury, Ridgefield, Redding and Wilton. The study will not evaluate the need for an expressway from Danbury to Norwalk, but will instead investigate ways to maximize the efficiency and safety of all modes of the existing transportation system. The study will also evaluate development potential along the corridor and ways to promote desired land use patterns as well as transit oriented development.

SWRPA is evaluating this corridor in cooperation with the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, Connecticut Department of Transportation, and other state and municipal agencies and local stakeholders. SWRPA has retained Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. to assist with the study effort to identify needs, evaluate alternatives, and define improvements for the corridor.

The goal is to develop a plan to improve and better interconnect the various components of the transportation system: the roadway, commuter rail, bus travel, walking and biking.

In case of inclement weather, a snow date at the same time and location has been reserved for Monday, March 1.

To provide comments or to find out more information regarding this study, please visit the website at www.route7study.org.

The SWRMPO will meet on Feb. 25 to discuss transportation policy, programs and projects that concern the South Western Region. The meeting agenda includes: Options for Regional Organization; proposed closures of MetroNorth Ticket Offices in New Canaan, Darien, Westport, and Fairfield; and the upcoming USDOT Quadrennial Certification Review of MPO and Metropolitan Transportation Planning on March 31.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation and Project Service LLC will also be present to brief the MPO on the CTDOT Rest Area and Service Plaza and discuss the 35 year agreement that is in effect.

The meeting will be held at the Norwalk Transit District, located at 275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk, and will begin promptly at 8:15 a.m.

The SWRMPO is comprised of the chief elected officials of the South Western Region's eight towns of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton, and the directors of the Region's transit districts. As mandated by federal regulations, the SWRMPO is responsible for transportation policy development, planning, and programming of federal transportation funding for the region.

For further information, visit www.swrpa.org or contact SWRPA at 203-316-5190.