Ansonia closes portion of Naugatuck River Greenway Trail to cut down on crowds

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH)– Cities and towns keep working to eliminate public places where people might get too close to one another. The latest to close is the Ansonia section of the narrow Naugatuck River Greenway Trail.

“I’ve driven by the riverwalk several times in the last week and I see people congregating and close together,” said Mayor David Cassetti (D-Ansonia).

RELATED: Social-distancing concerns still present at outdoor spaces as warmer weather approaches, Naugatuck Valley mayors considering closing Riverwalk

That is why Mayor Cassetti had his DPW crews set up yellow sawhorses at the entrances to the trail early Monday morning. Some people were still walking around those sawhorses, however, until crews came back and screwed very clear signs to those sawhorses: “Riverwalk Closed.”

Ivan Ramos got the message. He lives in Ansonia, but brought the family over to Shelton to sit by the river. He has seen people on the riverwalk not obeying the rules.

“Probably not so much,” Ramos said. “I feel like we could do a little better with social distancing.”

Related: DEEP asks public to heed social distancing guidelines for state parks, some close

The thing is, the riverwalk trail looks just the same in Derby as it does in Ansonia, and in Derby, it’s still open, with plenty of people using it. It’s only when you cross the city line into Ansonia that come across the closed signs, and for folks like Daniel, that does not make a whole lot of sense.

“It looks ridiculous,” he said. “I’m sorry, but, it’s the same river. I don’t see the point.”

Derby’s Mayor, Richard Dziekan, said he is monitoring the situation in his city, but so far has not noticed people congregating on the Riverwalk. He said he is following state guidelines, the same ones used for state parks.

It could change any minute, but Derby’s section of the Greenway Trail is open. In Ansonia, however, Mayor Cassetti says folks need to find somewhere else to go.

“Well, here residents, this is what you do,” Cassetti suggested. “It’s a beautiful spring day. Work in your yard. Dig your garden, plant your flowers, cut your grass.”

Cassetti knows that it is strange to have Derby’s side of the trail open and Ansonia’s closed, but he says his main focus is keeping the people of Ansonia healthy.

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