Town officials say they’re leaning toward one of three redesigns for the awkward rotary at Laurel and Canoe Hill Roads.
The signage that’s already in place, instructing motorists to “keep right” throughout the intersection is adequate for what’s there now, according to Tiger Mann, director of the New Canaan Public Works.
The three versions of a future traffic solution there are to make the rotary island itself larger, Mann told fellow members of the Traffic Calming Work Group at their most recent meeting, create a “pear shape” out of it or “recess it” toward Laurel Road.
That last option—to “leave it as just an island on Laurel”—would mean the rotary no longer serves the Canoe Hill Road traffic traveling past, Mann said at the May 16 meeting, held in the training room at the New Canaan Police Department.
“That seems to be preferable out of all of them, because to try and make [the rotary] larger” would not fully address problems that some motorists have now with the rotary, Mann said.
The traffic group—which includes representatives from DPW, police, fire and emergency services—has been working on a solution to the difficult rotary intersection for at least three years.
Signs posted on the small island instruct motorists to stay to the right, and those coming from Laurel Road must yield. As it is, motorists traveling down (northbound, toward 123) 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.
Officials long have said that driving around the rotary as a northbound Canoe Hill motorist is not intuitive.
Mann said pushing the rotary island into Laurel Road would make the intersection a “non-rotary rotary.”
The group’s recommendation would need to go to the Police Commission for approval, he said.