Police Field Complaint About Motorists Holding Up Traffic To Pull into Starbucks Lot

Police have fielded a complaint about motorists who create traffic tie-ups downtown while traveling south on Park Street and then turning left, across the oncoming traffic lane, to the bustling Starbucks parking lot. 

According to the complaint, discussed by the Traffic Calming Work Group at its most recent meeting, the offending motorists often sit in the roadway before they can turn, holding up traffic and “causing other drivers to sit through two long traffic signals.”

That is “inconvenient for many citizens headed to the train station for work, to town for work or to other appointments,” according to the complainant. 

The complainant recommended installing a ‘No left turn’ sign to head off the problem, according to the letter, sent to Police Capt. John DiFederico, who sits on the Work Group along with public works, parking, fire and emergency management officials. The problem “does not really happen that often,” DiFederico said at their most recent meeting, held Sept. 18 at the New Canaan Police Department. “I don’t think many people pull that way in and if you have to sit through two cycles of a traffic light, it’s not the end of the world. But I don’t see that many people wanting to go into Starbucks that way, because it’s such a hassle.

Police Commission Approves Four Flashing Pedestrian Safety Signs for Bus Stops, Crosswalks

Town officials last week approved a proposal to install two pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at regularly used crosswalks that motorists tend to approach at speed, as well as flashing signs warning drivers of school bus stops at two locations in New Canaan. The “rapid reflective flashing beacons”—similar to the one already in place at Weed and Elm Streets—are to be installed at Kimberly Place and Elm Street and at the intersection of Old Kings Highway and Old Norwalk Road, where a crosswalk went in three years ago. Police Capt. John DiFederico told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting that the department has received “numerous complaints from people coming out of the Kimberly [Place]-Seminary [Street] area that they they do not feel safe to cross there.”

And the relatively new crosswalk that connects Old Kings Highway to a trail that skirts Kiwanis Park and hooks up to a sidewalk that runs to Main Street downtown as well as Farm Road up to the schools “is getting a lot of use,” DiFederico said at the Sept. 18 meeting, held at New Canaan Police headquarters. Ultimately, Commission Chairman Sperry DeCew, Paul Foley and Jim McLaughlin voted 3-0 to recommend the installations. 

The solar-powered flashing beacons warning motorists of a ‘bus stop ahead’ will be installed on Wahackme Road, replacing one that had worked effectively in the past, as well as at a particularly dangerous area on Frogtown Road. 

DeFederico said the Frogtown Road school bus stop, located at the bottom of a curve and hill coming off of Weed Street, near a cemetery, appears to serve a private school in New Canaan.

Police Commission Votes 3-0 To Push Canoe Hill Traffic Island into Laurel

Officials last week approved a plan to push a sometimes-ignored traffic island out of the roadway at Canoe Hill and Laurel Roads, addressing a traffic problem that’s been before the town for years. Signs posted on the small traffic island instruct motorists to stay to the right, and those coming from Laurel Road must yield, creating a rotary. Yet as it is, motorists traveling westbound on Canoe Hill face the non-intuitive prospect of going around the traffic island, which sweeps cars slightly to the right (toward Laurel) in order to continue on that road, which then jogs left. The road also feels wide enough to motorists on that approach that it should accommodate two-way traffic on the left-hand side of the island. By pushing the island into Laurel Road and installing a stop sign for Laurel traffic, officials hope to make Canoe Hill a true two-way street all the way through.

Main Street Resident Lodges Traffic Complaint

New Canaan Police received a complaint from a Cobbler’s Green resident regarding overcrowded parking on Main Street during services at the decades-old funeral home next door. During funerals at Hoyt Funeral Home, the resident said in an email to police, “park cars in such haphazard way that it is impossible for us to get out of the unit as we cannot see anything as cars blocks the view.”

“Today it is the same situation now,” the resident wrote in an Aug. 31 email sent to police through the MyPD app. “Also, on weekday evenings, [the] next door dance school parents park illegally on street and make it hazardous for us to drive. It is [a] disaster waiting to happen.

Police to Parks Officials: We Have No Safety Concerns Regarding ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ at Waveny (or Downtown)

Parks officials on Tuesday night reasserted that they have safety concerns about how the Caffeine & Carburetors auto enthusiasts’ gathering at Waveny, even though the deputy chief of police said that the New Canaan Police Department has no such worries. In fact, Deputy Chief John DiFederico told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their special meeting, “We have no issues at all from a police and safety perspective either here in Waveny or downtown.”

“We have worked closely for the past five years with Caffeine & Carburetors and from my perspective they are one of the most organized groups that we have worked with,” DiFederico told the Commission during its meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “What they bring to the town—the size, the volume of people and the volume of traffic—they work very closely with us, they are very organized, they work with Public Works and with [the Community Emergency Response Team]. They hire as many officers as we need to cover the event. They are open to all suggestions.