John DiFederico

Recent Articles

Police To Step Up Enforcement at New Canaan’s Six Major Car Accident Locations

New Canaan Police say they’re ramping up enforcement at areas where they see the highest incidence of motor vehicle accidents in town. Deputy Chief John DiFederico said Wednesday night that after studying accident history in New Canaan with the department’s lead accident investigator, authorities identified one cluster of intersections downtown and another series along the Route 123 corridor. In downtown New Canaan, motor vehicle accidents occur most frequently at Elm and Park Streets, South Avenue and Cherry Street, and Cherry and Main Streets, according to DiFederico. The other high-accident areas are along Route 123 at Old Norwalk Road, Lakeview Avenue/Little Brook Road and East Avenue/Silvermine Avenue, he said. The downtown crashes involved violations such as unsafe backing on Elm Street, “which would be people backing out of spaces, and then traffic control devices, going through red lights or stop signs, and then lane violations,” DiFederico said at a regular meeting of the Police Commission. Continue Reading →

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Elm Street To Lose 15 Parking Spaces

The one-way stretch of Elm Street, commercial heart of downtown New Canaan and home to many of its most cherished (if in some cases struggling) local businesses, as soon as next week will lose 15 parking spaces due to its lack of compliance with a little-known state statute. New Canaan long has operated outside a 1949 state law that says, “No vehicle shall be permitted to remain parked within twenty-five feet of an intersection or a marked crosswalk thereat.”

Yet recently, when the Department of Public Works removed the parking striping on Elm Street in order to put in a layer of protective seal, a resident put town officials on formal notice that the existing spaces violated that law, since they were too close to the five crosswalks on Elm between Main and Park Streets.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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Clapboard Hill Road Residents Seek Reduction in Motor Vehicle Speeds

Residents of a windy residential street on the east side of New Canaan are seeking ways to slow down motor vehicle traffic there, officials say. Clapboard Hill Road residents have turned to traffic-calming officials in New Canaan to address what they view as a safety matter, according to New Canaan Police Capt. John DiFederico. Though the 85th percentile of drivers travel at 32 mph in the 25 mph zone there, which is “not outrageous for that road,” it’s windy and “a lot of people want to use these roads for pedestrian traffic and bike traffic and kids to play,” DiFederico said during the June 20 meeting of the Police Commission. “And some roads just aren’t really good for that,” DiFederico said at the meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. Traffic officials including DiFederico and Public Works Director Tiger Mann are in early conversations with representatives of the neighborhood about what may be done. 

Tax records show that there are nine homes on the street, which runs for about a quarter-mile between Carter Street and Silvermine Road. 

DiFederico said the department has placed speed sentries, which capture data on passing motor vehicles, just once in the past year. Continue Reading →

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‘A Big Safety Issue for Us’: Nursery Road, Area Residents Voice Concerns Over Heavy, Speeding Commuter Traffic 

Responding to concerns from residents that speeding commuter traffic on Nursery Road is creating a safety hazard, town officials on Wednesday said they would request a formal study to figure out how to best address the problem. Navigation apps such as Waze appear to be sending motorists stuck in Merritt Parkway traffic along Nursery Road—as well as Gerdes and White Oak Shade Roads—as a cut-through between Exits 37 and 38, officials said at the regular meeting of the Police Commission. According to Police Capt. John DiFederico, data from speed sentries shows that Nursery Road is getting a major spike from 7 to 9 a.m., where traffic rises from about 30 to 40 cars per hour to 200 cars per hour. For Nursery Road residents such as Charlein Megherby, the traffic on the street has been “horrible.”

“It really is a big safety issue for us,” Megherby said at the meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. About 20 residents of the roads affected by the surge in traffic attended the meeting. Continue Reading →

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‘40 Kids Is a Lot of Kids’: Town Officials Lay Out Plan To Calm Traffic on River Street

Responding to safety concerns from residents who live along a densely housed residential street where motorists tend to speed, town officials say they’re looking at a number of ways to slow down traffic. River Street runs for about a half-mile parallel to Route 123 between Brushy Ridge and Strawberry Hill Roads, along the Fivemile River, with most of its houses—many of them multi-family dwellings—on the east side of the street. It has no speed limit signage, faded ‘no parking’ signs on one side, needs (and is scheduled) to be repaved and often sees drivers cut the light while traveling northbound on 123 at Brushy Ridge Road, speeding up to 50 and 60 mph, according to Christine Simmons, a representative of River Street and Charles Place residents. “We have 40 kids on River Street between the ages of 1 year old to 18 years old and the elementary school kids they get picked up on multiple places on River Street and in the fall and winter it’s dark,” Simmons told members of the Traffic Calming Work Group at their most recent meeting. “There are no street lights and we have the older kids that honestly they need education on driving on River Street because they are sometimes the violators of the speed,” Simmons continued at the meeting, held March 20 at the New Canaan Police Department. Continue Reading →

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