A proposal to build a greenway trail along Route 1 is dividing one shoreline town.
Guilford is planning a path for walkers and bikers, but not everyone is on board.
The three quarter of a mile trail would run from the East River Bridge at the Madison line and down to the intersection with Route 146.
The construction would be covered by federal and state grants and Peter Hawes, with the Shoreline Greenway Trail, says it’s about accessibility and safety.
"The idea is that we can bring people from that neighborhood, both this way towards Madison and connect towards a piece of trail towards downtown and also get people off this busy and dangerous stretch of Route 1 to get into the center of Guilford, the fairgrounds, a major elementary school and beyond,” Hawes said.
Jeffrey Kuzma's Guilford Automotive has been in town for 25 years, but he's worried about what the proposed trail, which would be built within the state right of way, would do to his garage.
"Basically what I’d end up with is my front row would be gone and the little piece of grass would be gone, would bring us back this way 16 feet, that's a whole car length.,” Kuzma said.
While Hawes says this is about keeping people on Route 1 safe, he understands why some in town are concerned, specifically since the original greenway plan called for a 25 mile path from New Haven’s Lighthouse Point, to Hammonasset State Park in Madison.
"On one hand, who wouldn't support a trail, on the other hand, there are people on the other side of town who live in historic homes, many are from families that settled Guilford a long time ago,” Hawes said. “There are beautiful barns, beautiful countryside over there and I think some are worried, that if a stretch like this is built here, it's going to put pressure on them ultimately down the road. We don't want to disturb them, the history, we love this town.
That’s why those opposed to don't want Guilford’s Board of Selectmen to sign off on the trail until Guilford’s entire route along the shoreline greenway trail is mapped out. They meet next Monday.
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