We are a local community advocacy group made up of residents all across Stamford, Connecticut. Our mission is to create walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, improve transit, reduce car-dependency, and support housing abundance.
We believe that Stamford needs to be more welcoming to those who want to walk and bike to get to places. We should not design a society around the principle that everyone must own a vehicle and must use it to go everywhere. Many people cannot drive (elderly, young, disabled), cannot afford a vehicle, or prefer to walk and bike. Creating more walkable neighborhoods and reducing our collective reliance on driving is good for the environment (less air pollution, less carbon emissions), good for quality of life (less noise pollution, fewer crash injuries/deaths), and friendlier and safer for everyone.
Too many people are killed or horribly injured on our streets because of a car-centric culture that prioritizes driver convenience over safety, where people feel entitled to drive as fast as they want and easily park for free wherever they go. We need to design our streets so they are safe for all users, not just those in cars; dedicate more road space to alternate modes of transportation (walking, biking, buses); and ensure drivers pay more for the negative externalities they create (through tolls, gas taxes, parking fees, and the like). Driving is a privilege, not a right. Human lives and the well-being of residents are more important than preserving parking spots or the freedom of drivers to speed down streets.
Parking is not free to provide - mandatory parking requirements create seas of dead space in our communities and a single off-street parking spot in a new development can cost tens of thousands of dollars per space, driving up costs and rents. Stamford should eliminate parking requirements for new developments and charge appropriate market rates for parking to ensure that space is being used efficiently.
Stamford and the greater Connecticut/NYC metro region as a whole suffers from a massive housing shortage leading to unaffordable rents and displacement. The root cause of the shortage is restrictive zoning laws (e.g. bans on multifamily housing) and a permitting/approval process that prioritizes the voices of housing-secure homeowners who dislike change in the built environment, over the needs of younger people, new families, renters, and those who make up the next generation. Decisions around new development should include the voices of the next generation who stand to benefit from new housing and businesses, not just the voices of existing homeowners.
We are looking for people to join us in our mission. Your time commitment can be as low as occasionally writing an email to your local reps.
Join us for our bi-monthly meetings at the Ferguson Library in downtown Stamford to discuss strategy. (Meetings are currently held over Zoom.) Sign up here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on our meeting list.