GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A lot of people like the idea of a walking and biking trail along the Merritt Parkway — a 37 1/2-mile path from Greenwich to Stratford.

But at a cost of $250 million?

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei is among those asking, with all of Connecticut’s existing infrastructure needs, how state officials can even be considering the project.

Rob Koshar owns Greenwich Bicycles and says the area needs a multi-use trail because there are few places for bikers to ride.

“I think it’s something that would really enhance the town,” he said. “Fairfield County has very little for cyclists recreationally.”

But others, like Tesei, disagree.

“Rome is burning, and they want to build a palace,” Tesei told Schneidau. “I mean, it just makes no sense to me.”

Tesei noted the trail would not be contiguous. People would have to get off and cross bridges over the parkway, creating safety hazards, he said.

“The trail will have a significant impact on the environment as well as the character defining features of the parkway,” Executive Director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy, Jill Smith, told CBS 2’s Matt Kozar.

Smith is worried trail construction would damage the landscape, redirect resources and devalue property in a town famous for big homes.

Other locals familiar with the project layout are also worried about the safety of residents.

Ted Walworth, president of the Northeast Greenwich Association, said the trail would wind in and out close to nearby homes.

“As the police say, there are bad people out there, and they can come in and get closer to your homes and have access to them and be able to get away quickly,” he said.

“In my instance, it would go directly through my backyard,” Greenwich resident Tara Harvey said.

She says she’s out walking with her 1-year-old son every night.

“It’s a small, tight-knit community and we just want to keep it that way without adding extra traffic from a bike path,” she said.

The Department of Transportation takes no position for or against the project, but the agency invites comments on its website.

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