FAIRFIELD — Getting around Fairfield without a car can be an easy task in some parts of town. Sidewalks, crosswalks and space for bikes, as well as bike racks, are numerous.

But that’s not the case everywhere. Take, for example, what members of the Bike and Pedestrian Committee call the “invisible” bike route. There is a town-approved bike route that shows cyclists a safe way to get from the Stratfield side of town to downtown. However, there are no signs, no markings on the road.

“This was phase two when we applied for grant money,” said Keith Gallinelli, the committee’s chairman. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money for both that bike route, and the shoreline route, that runs along the coastline. There, green and white signs direct the cyclists, while yellow and black signs remind motorists to share the road. Soon, Gallanelli said, there will also be roadway markings.

Creating visible bike routes where feasible, Gallinelli said, not only give cyclists a safe route, but get motorists used to sharing the road. Bike routes have also been shown to bring customers to businesses along those routes.

In its second year, the committee is moving from focusing on public events, like historical bike rides held in conjunction with the Fairfield Museum and History Center, to getting the town to adopt a “complete streets” policy.

“We’re transitioning to policy,” Gallinelli said, and working with different town departments to get input. “Our goal is to have a draft by the end of the year. We want to generat a policy with best practices.”

Such a policy requires that future street design take into consideration not just the needs of motorists, but also the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and those using mass transit.

It would come into play, Gallinelli said, when new roads are being created, or existing roads reworked. Many Connecticut towns and cities have such policies already in place, he said, or are working on one.

More Information

Fairfield’s bike routes

Mill Plain Road route

Mill Plain Road from Brookside Drive to Barlow Road

Library route

Fairfield Woods Road at Stratfield Road to Burroughs Road

Burroughs Road to High Street

High Street to Jennings Road

Jennings Road to Barlow Road

Barlow Road to Unquowa Road

Unquowa Road to Post Road

Shore route

Fairfield Avenue at the Bridgeport line to Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive to the Old Post Road

Can stay on Old Post Road to Oldfield Road, or turn left onto Beach Road

Beach Road to Fairfield Beach Road

Fairfield Beach Road to Reef Road

Reef Road to Oldfield Road

Oldfield Road to Sasco Hill

Sasco Hill to Harbor Road

Harbor Road to Pequot Avenue

Pequot Avenue to Beachside Avenue at the Westport line

“There are some areas in town where nothing can be done,” Gallinelli said. “It doesn’t mean bike routes and sidewalks on every street.”

The committee isn’t starting from scratch, however. A predecessor to this committee developed a bike and pedestrian master plan that was approved by the Board of Selectmen. It includes an inventory of the town’s sidewalks — where they are, their condition, and where gaps exist.

For bike routes, committee member Donald Hyman said, they take into consideration the road’s width, its condition and the shoulder width. “It has to be determined to be safe,” he said.

Bike routes are different from bike lanes, Gallinelli said. Bike lanes must be a certain width, and have to be delineated from the car portion of the street. “In the town of Fairfield, we don’t really have many locations where you can do bike lanes without major engineering of the road.”

There have been recent commercial developments in town where the Town Plan and Zoning Commission has made sidewalks and bike racks as conditions of approval.