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New Fairfield’s Walk-In Ban for Squantz Pond Has Been Rejected

Squantz Pond State Park - Photo by Ethan Taken in April of '17
Squantz Pond State Park – Photo by Ethan Taken in April of ’17

New Fairfield First Selectman, Susan Chapman says allowing walk-ins when Squantz Pond Park is full is a safety issue.

On a hot summer weekend, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield reaches their 250 car limit long before 12 noon which is the time First Selectman, Susan Chapman begins to get a little nervous. For the last three years, she’s lobbied the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to institute a ban on walk-ins after the park is full.

According to the NewsTimes, it looks like Chapman will be turned down for the third year in a row. Her proposal was unanimously turned down by the state’s Regulation Review Committee in January. It’s not because New Fairfielders are snooty, it’s because Chapman fears for the safety of the people who didn’t make the 250 car cut and will have to walk into the park sometimes navigating a busy Route 39.

When hopeful park-goers miss the 250 car limit at Squantz, they are forced to drive around until they find a space on a side road or sometimes they even drive a 1/4 mile south to New Fairfield Town Park and then walk to Squantz. Bottom line is that many of these people end up walking along a very busy Route 39. I’ve personally seen families who have driven up from New York City walking along Route 39 with moms and dads, kids, and grandparents carrying coolers and portable grills as they attempt to avoid traffic. I agree with our First Selectman, it’s simply unsafe.

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