Church Street Residents Call for Removal of New Double-Yellow Line

Saying they feel blindsided by a change to their neighborhood that appears to be exacerbating safety problems by speeding up motorists, Church Street residents are calling for town officials to remove a new double-yellow centerline. Painted on the newly re-paved road, the centerline doesn’t jibe with the charming look or feel of Church Street, and appeared one morning with no input from any of those who live in the 16 houses there, according to a formal petition lodged Tuesday with the town. One of those who signed the letter, Carlene Towers, said there are no speed limit signs on Church Street and that the new centerline creates a raceway-like appearance that invites motorists to go even faster. “Everyone was really upset about it and we have a major speeding problem on our street, because it is considered a cut-through,” Towers told NewCanaanite.com. 

As residents of Silvermine Road argued to traffic officials two years ago, Towers also voiced concern that a double-yellow line on Church Street will negatively affect property values. 

The problem of speeding cars is made significantly worse at certain times of day on Church Street because of a longtime problem of double-parking parents collecting kids from a dance school on the corner of Main Street, residents say. Representatives from all but two homes on Church Street signed a petition sent to town officials including the first selectmen, head of public works and police, and that’s only because no one has been able to connect with them, Towers said.

PHOTOS: Second Annual ‘Scarecrow Fest’ Adorns Downtown New Canaan

Downtown New Canaan got a seasonal makeover this week as local families and businesses created dozens of scarecrows now hanging from lampposts on Elm, Forest and Main Streets and South Avenue. Organized by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Scarecrow Fest is sponsored by Weed & Duryea with kits distributed by the Young Women’s League. It’s “just a fun way to dress town up and get ready for the [Oct. 28] Halloween Parade,” Chamber Executive Tucker Murphy said. 

“Anybody who comes downtown—I don’t care if you are two or 102—if you walk up Elm and Main, no matter what street, all it does is bring a smile to your face,” she said. “It’s another great community builder.”

Many of those putting together the scarecrows got very creative, Murphy said, such as Francos Wine Merchants using corks for fingers and grapes for hair, or The Linen Shop, which features a scarecrow tucked under a shower curtain.

Wet Weather Delays Installation of New ‘Mead Park Playground’ To Spring

The extremely wet fall weather has set back the baseball fields project at Mead Park, officials said last week, and one knock-on effect of that is a delay in the installation of a new playground area that now is not expected to open until the spring. Though the New Canaan Baseball project at Mead is “pretty much on schedule,” Recreation Director Steve Benko said, “the weather set them back” and there have been “some days they could not work, it was just too wet.”

It’s “critical” for New Canaan Baseball to get its paving done before a “Poured In Place” rubberized surface for new playground equipment at Mead is installed, and the contractor on the job has said the earliest he could start would be mid-November, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting. “He said he’s is a little leery of that because once you get into December, the Poured In Place material is temperature sensitive,” Benko said during the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. 

If the rubberized material is installed before the hardscape, there’s a risk that seams open up in it, Benko said. Referring to a contractor hired by Fort Wayne, Ala.-based GameTime, Benko added: “So the contractor felt it would be in our best interests to get the best possible job of surfacing if we could push off the installation the playground to the beginning of April. Then, he said, you’re not chasing the cold and you will do a good job with the surfacing.

Did You Hear … ?

After receiving complaints, New Canaan’s health director is calling on members of the town’s legislative body to consider an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of pool water onto neighbors’ properties at summer’s end. “It is just common decency not to do that,” Jen Eielson told members of the Town Council’s Bylaws and Ordinances Committee at its Oct. 1 meeting. ***

Authorities on Wednesday placed six trucks and their drivers out of service due to violations and failed inspections during a five-hour enforcement effort in New Canaan. Local and state police collaborated on a motor vehicle inspection checkpoint at Route 123 and Hoyt Farm Road.