Sperry DeCew

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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‘Pop Up Park’ Nixed for 2018; Volunteers Cite Selectmen Conditions as Unworkable

Noting that the Pop Up Park’s volunteer organizers had failed to obtain insurance, a sponsor or Special Events permit to operate the makeshift gathering space downtown—conditions laid out last month—members of the Police Commission on Wednesday night withdrew their approval of a necessary street closure for the park. Though the Board of Selectmen this month granted conditional approval for a three-week run, those who operate it came to find that the sponsors they found were “not excited about the new conditions” attached to it, according to Barbara Wilson, a member of the volunteer Pop Up Park committee. “All of our sponsors have withdrawn because they did not feel the items that we had to address and accept were in their best interests,” Wilson told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting. “So we don’t have any sponsors. Additionally, the sponsor we had that was going to pay for insurance has withdrawn after talking with legal counsel. 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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‘Pop Up Park’ Under Threat As Organizers Scramble for Insurance, Town Approval

The Police Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to require the organizers of the Pup Up Park to return next month with proof of insurance and coordination with the town in order to retain a planned six-week road closure needed to operate the makeshift gathering space. In the past, officials noted during the Commission’s regular meeting, the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce had provided insurance and also coordinated with the town, though a separate, small group of volunteers oversaw the actual day-to-day operation of the summer park at South and Elm. Yet “the sponsoring organization obviously has withdrawn from the entire concept,” Commission Chairman Sperry DeCew said at the group’s regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “So at this point, we have a group of five well-meaning citizens who want to have a Pop Up Park, but at this point there is no appointed liaison to the town of New Canaan. So far as we know, there is no approval by the town of New Canaan on the special permit level, and there is certainly no insurance. Continue Reading →

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