Paul Foley

Recent Articles

Future of ‘Pop Up Park’ Uncertain After Some Merchants Voice Concerns

After a handful of merchants voiced concerns about how the Pop Up Park at South Avenue and Elm Street affects traffic and business, members of the municipal body that oversees street closures in New Canaan said Wednesday night that they’ll take the feedback into consideration in deciding on the future of the downtown amenity. No immediate decision is needed regarding the Pop Up Park, which saw part of the South Avenue’s first block cordoned off as a pedestrian-only space—with tables, chairs, WiFi, planters, grass, fountain and events—from the July 15 Sidewalk Sale to Labor Day. However, approval from the Police Commission is needed each “offseason” to get the volunteer-run Pop Up Park in place. Launched five years ago, the town had approved an all-summer run in 2015, but the Pop Up Park didn’t run at all that year after some merchants raised concerns. During the commission’s regular meeting Wednesday, some of those who long have said the park creates problems that hurt the downtown and its businesses reiterated their concerns. Continue Reading →

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Police Commission Votes 2-0 To Extend On-Street Parking on Main and Elm to Two Hours

Municipal officials on Wednesday night voted unanimously to extend on-street parking limits in the center of downtown New Canaan to two hours. Changing to two-hour limits both the one-way stretch of Elm Street and a central piece of Main—both 90 minutes now—will not only give motorists more time to shop and dine, but also create more consistent parking times overall by bringing them in line with areas just beyond the “magic circle,” officials said during the Police Commission’s regular meeting. “I would go for it,” Commissioner Paul Foley said of the change, recommended last week by the Parking Commission. Foley and fellow Police Commissioner Sperry DeCew voted 2-0 to make the change. Chairman Stuart Sawabini was absent. Continue Reading →

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Positive Feedback for Re-Launched New Canaan Police Motorcycle Program

Patrol officer productivity on the New Canaan Police Department’s motorcycle in some ways has been greater than in regular cruisers in the past year, officials say. Sgt. Scott Romano told members of the Police Commission at a recent meeting that on the motorcycle he has “the ability to be a little less conspicuous when doing enforcement, and it is easier for me to sit in certain areas.”

“One of the ones before tonight was Silvermine and Valley Road,” Romano told members of the commission at their July 25 meeting, held at the department’s South Avenue headquarters. “I can tuck in and sit in driveways where definitely a patrol car can’t, and so I have the ability to view the trouble areas and take enforcement action as needed. So it certainly works better for those things than a patrol vehicle.”

The feedback from Romano—a 20-year NCPD veteran who was promoted Aug. Continue Reading →

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‘Fish in a Barrel’: NCPD Distracted Driving Stops Up 73 Percent

New Canaan Police have made 159 stops for distracted driving since June 1, officials said Tuesday—up from 92 such stops in the same timeframe last year, a 73 percent increase. Officers are using unmarked cars in some cases and though “the summer months are a bit lighter, people are away,” distracted drivers are very active, according to Police Capt. John DiFederico. “And we are getting cars pretty consistently,” DiFederico told members of the Police Commission during their regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. When Commissioner Paul Foley asked whether it was “pretty easy” to spot motorists using smartphones, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski responded: “Fish in a barrel.”

The update to the commission comes as police focus enforcement efforts on streets with histories of accidents as well as complaints. Krolikowski has referred to distracted driving as the number one, major motor vehicle threat facing New Canaan. Here’s a column from the chief that details what constitutes distracted driving and the consequences of such under state law. Continue Reading →

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Officials Wary of Proposal for Nonprofit, Community Organizations To Use ‘Pop Up Park’ for Sales

Town officials on Tuesday night voiced objections to a proposal that nonprofit and community organizations be allowed to sell fundraiser tickets or items such as Girl Scout cookies in the Pop Up Park downtown, saying the popular pedestrian area should remain entirely solicitation-free. When the cordoned-off park launched five years ago, New Canaan’s traffic authority specified that nothing be sold there “mostly because we did not want to have in any way reactions by the merchants that the Pop Up Park would compete with them,” according to Police Commission member Sperry DeCew. “I am not particularly happy about this [idea],” DeCew said at the group’s regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “I do not particularly want people in there being solicited by anybody to do anything—Lobsterfest or Girl Scout cookies. I think it’s inappropriate and there should be no solicitation whatsoever.”

DeCew and fellow Commissioner Paul Foley—together with Chairman Stuart Sawabini, who participated in the meeting on speakerphone—referred to a draft set of “sales guidelines” from the volunteer committee that organizes the Pop Up Park. Continue Reading →

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