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Fairfield Metro: Bike Racks Are In [Updated]

Things to be aware if you have chosen to commute on the Metro North railroad via Fairfield Metro.

Update, 2:30 p.m.

Department of Transportation spokesperson Judd Everhart reported this afternoon that bike racks have been installed on the New York-bound side of the tracks. 16 units were installed.

Installation for the New Haven-bound side is still in progress, Everhart said.

Original Story, Dec. 6

Bikers Beware

Black Rock resident Bob Fredericks takes the train to Grand Central for his job as a reporter at the New York Post. Unless it's bad weather, Fredericks rides his bike to the station -- a 10 to 12 minute commute to the downtown Fairfield station; and half that time to .

"I was psyched for the new station to open because it's about a mile from my house and I wouldn't have to worry about the maniacs driving on the Post Road," Fredericks said. "I could walk in bad weather and the bike ride would be about five minutes."

But when he and his wife checked out the new station over the weekend, he found not a single bike rack in sight.

"They spend 42 million bucks and they couldn't spring for a couple bike racks? I thought we were all supposed to be green these days?" was Fredericks' initial reaction.

And that's what at least several commuters found (and maybe thought) on Monday, the station’s .

Fortunately for green commuters like Fredericks, the lack of bike racks is only temporary. Judd Everhart, director of communications for the State Department of Transportation (DOT), said the racks should be installed this week. There will be racks on both sides of the track.

However, a Fusco attendant who was at the station Monday said the bike racks would be set up in the spring. Fusco is the company managing the parking lot for the state. Patch will check up on Friday to see if they bike racks have been installed.

Free Parking, One Week Only

"A number of permits are being issued, but that is being processed through the mail," Everhart said. "So for this week, no charge to anyone."

Everhart added that transportation officials "want people to familiarize themselves with the lot and its layout," so they granted this week of oreintation.

When attendants to begin charging, day parking is $6 and $35 for the month, Everhart said.

Whole Foods to the (Caffeinated) Rescue

Early morning commuters who thought there would be no coffee at Fairfield Metro were likely surprised by the bright green food truck parked in the lot on Monday.

Whole Foods will be providing free coffee from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. throughout December, according to the Fairfield market’s Facebook page. Hungry commuters can purchase breakfast sandwiches, orange juice, bottled water, and other treats -- the truck will offer different “Commuter Specials” on a regular basis.

Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) December 06, 2011 at 04:25 PM
J -- I am glad to hear you had a good experience with Fusco. It seems to be the luck of the draw for some people waiting for their permits.
Andrew Graceffa December 06, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Thanks Caitlin. Yes it is odd. Especially since the station was finished for quite a while. And "winter schedule"? Its not like we live in Minneapolis (which is the #1 bike city anyways) with heavy snowfall. People nearby will ride their bikes to the station year-round. Fairfield Bike Walk Coalition (of which I am the chair) has also reached out to DOT and the Town to apply pressure from our end. Hopefully we can get this resolved very soon.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) December 06, 2011 at 08:34 PM
A thank you to Andrew Graceffa, who emailed the DOT about the lack of bike racks. DOT transportation planner Katherine Rattan replied and said they are scheduled to be installed in the next week. Patch will check up to see if that happens -- if anyone sees the bike racks go up in the meantime, let us know (snap a photo if you can!)
Blubby December 06, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Everyone say's they are part of the concourse building, like that's gonna happen next week! I would be shocked if that building is even started by summer.
Joe December 07, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Is it possible for anyone to say anything about this place that isn't a complaint? Be glad it's finally open and put the nitpicking aside for at least for a week, perhaps?
Fairfield Resident December 07, 2011 at 05:18 AM
Hey Joe, Why should I be glad that the town of Fairfield wasted MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of taxpayer's dollars on a train station that was not needed in the first place? They could have just as easily gotten the existing station downtown ADA compliant and added a parking gargage (or built a second level of parking over the existing NY Bound side lot) for far less than what they spent on "Fairfield Metro". Nice Try.
Joe December 07, 2011 at 06:06 AM
I guess it isn't possible. No wonder why our region has a reputation for producing argumentative people who find fault with every imaginable thing.
John Jameson December 07, 2011 at 12:36 PM
The town has spent $10.5 million -less if they ever end up getting more money from Wittek. How much do you think it would cost to build a parking deck (and fight Mosswood Condos in court since they vowed to fight it every step of the way) and retrofit elevators to the downtown station to make it handicapped accessible? It was the requirement to make one of the town's train stations handicapped accessible that was a driver behind this project, though most don't seem to realize this.
Gerard Speno December 07, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Check out Fairfield Metro Center Ribbon Cutting event Fair TV Channel 79 Shown throughout the day Also BOS Meeting covering UI Contingencies for Roadway and electric at Metro Center And The Reimbursement of Nearly $3 million dollars by the State for Metro Center work And Every Day on Fair TV CH 78 /@ 7:30 pm catch the annual Tree lighting event
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) December 07, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Just received an email from Mitchell Fuchs, a Fairfield resident and member of the CT Rail Commuter Council who said he was happy to report bike racks were being installed this morning on the NY-bound side of the tracks.
Andrew Graceffa December 07, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Awesome, great to hear! Thanks for the follow up Caitlin & Mitch!
TJC December 08, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Hey Joe, help us out a bit here... what exactly should we be happy about here? bah-humbug! This train station gets a grade of a D. The only reason that it isnt an F is that the trains apparently stop there.
TJC December 08, 2011 at 01:42 AM
They should name the bike racks in your honor, Caitlin. I doubt they would have appeared if it wasnt for you and the Patch putting the pressure on!
steve sheppard December 08, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Nice that we get bike racks while there are no seats!!!! I get on an early train in Southport and this week no seats. Thanks a lot Flatto Metro Center, my commuting life just got worse.
TJC December 08, 2011 at 05:05 PM
I am confused as to how the Flatto center would result in less seats. Do you think more people suddenly started commuting? These same people had to get on the train someplace (likely before Southport) last week... why would the opening of this less-than-optimal station result in more crowded trains?
Bob Fredericks December 08, 2011 at 05:44 PM
The trains are more crowded because of the season, not the new station.
Fairfield Resident December 08, 2011 at 06:48 PM
They have been running "Bar" cars on some of the early morning trains this week and they have limited seating in them. That is one cause.
iamspartacus December 08, 2011 at 07:33 PM
steve it wont kill you to stand for awhile, it might even out the stress that is taking years off your life
iamspartacus December 08, 2011 at 07:35 PM
john don't try to use logic or math, flatto had something to do with it so it must be bad
TJC December 09, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Bar cars in the morning are nothing new. I agree with Bob below. This is a seasonal thing.
Joe December 10, 2011 at 03:28 AM
Gee, I don't know, maybe 1,400 new parking spaces for people on the waiting list. Maybe the redevelopment of a contaminated brownfield. Maybe the eventual job opportunities for the completed center a few years down the line. You don't have to be happy about everything. But complaining about everything doesn't help.
Lynn Araujo December 11, 2011 at 03:33 PM
I was on the wait since before I bought my home in Black Rock- so I was one of the fortunate few who got a parking permit. I love the convenience of having the new station so close. The parking loyt setup is really bizarre though. For some inexplicable reason they have made multiple windy, narrow lanes to get in and out. (like a line for a Disney ride). there are cones and copys everywhere to make sure drivers see and stay in the lanes. (because it's very hard to see these ridiculous lines on a dar,, rainy night. Was this REALLY necessary?? Also, no bathrooms, no printed schedules, no EXIT signs from the platform.The first time people get off the train coming home they wander around looking for a way off the platform to get to the damn parking lot. It's all very strange.
Fairfield Resident December 11, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Having no "EXIT" signs sounds like a Fire Code violation to me.
TJC December 12, 2011 at 03:28 AM
i think you can pee on the bike racks.
Fairfield Resident December 12, 2011 at 05:52 AM
BTDT
Andrew Graceffa December 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Well, glad to see that the bike racks have been installed on both sides and they are very usable, secure models. Should be about 25 on NYC bound side and 10 on the New Haven bound side. On a tangential note, the Fairfield Bike Walk Coalition is attempting to map all the bike racks located throughout town. Check out this link: http://g.co/maps/f398j and if you see any racks missing, please email fairfieldbikewalkcoalition at gmail.com and we'll add it/them to the list. Thanks for your help in advance!
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) December 12, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Thanks for that link and the info, Andrew!
John Jameson December 13, 2011 at 12:22 AM
No exit signs on the platform? Guess you missed them--they are indeed there, several of them, pointing the way to get off the plaform, get the elevator, grab a taxi or a bus. As for no exit signs being a fire code violation--are you kidding?? Or just looking for something to complain about?
Fairfield Resident December 13, 2011 at 05:48 AM
Why would I kid about Fire Safety? What if a train that was on fire pulled into the station and the passengers had to get off onto an unfamiliar platform and had to get away from the fire. Exit signs would certainly help direct them to the nearest egresses from the platform in an expeditious manner. PS - I have been on a Metro-North train that had a small electical fire in a heater and the smoke built up very quickly.
Blubby December 14, 2011 at 01:02 AM
You mean they actually studied the wind patterns and then created the lanes for your discomfort? WOW!

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