Public Works: Plan To Widen Sidewalks on Elm Street Will Result in a ‘Net Zero’ Change to Parking

Public works officials next week will will bring forward a proposal to widen several sections of sidewalks on Elm Street, chiefly on the north side of the road between South Avenue and The Playhouse. Mentioned during last month’s Police Commission meeting, the new configuration will make permanent some of the pandemic-related changes now in place with temporary barricades, as well as bolster pedestrian safety in a major shopping and dining area of downtown New Canaan, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “We are looking at bumping out the sidewalks from the intersection with South Avenue up to and through The Playhouse on the northern side and then on the southern side, the crosswalk at The Playhouse itself and then the intersection of South Avenue and Elm Street,” Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. “What that will do is that should help us on reducing the pedestrian crossing length of the crosswalks and then protecting the areas adjacent to the crosswalk, whereby right now it’s 25 feet on either side, if you have a hard bump-out you can actually reduce that requirement in certain locations,” he said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “And what it turns out to be is, we would lose five spaces on the northern side and gain five spaces on the southern side so it would be a ‘net zero’ change.”

Mann said he’s bringing the proposal to the Police Commission for approval at the appointed body’s April 21 meeting.

Podcast: Manda Riggs of Elm Street Books

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Manda Riggs, co-manager at Elm Street Books, about how the locally owned bookshop is faring amid the pandemic and what sort of in-store activity it’s seeing now, as well as some good fiction and nonfiction recommendations this spring

Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Podcast: ‘Plum Plums Cheese’ Owner Gayle Martin

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Gayle Martin, who with husband Michael Riahi, is opening New Canaan’s newest business, a cheese and charcuterie shar-coo-tree shop that originally opened in 2014 in Pound Ridge and has moved here. Plum Plums Cheese opens its doors at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 1st, at 149 Cherry St. 

Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Police Seek Help ID’ing Suspect in Larceny at Local Business [UPDATED]

[Note: This article has been updated to reflect the name of the victim business.]

New Canaan police are asking for help identifying a larceny suspect who targeted a local business. The theft occurred at Walter Stewart’s Market, police said, though it wasn’t immediately clear when. A still frame from surveillance video shows only a time stamp of 5:02 p.m.

In it, an individual with long black hair, possibly a man, is shown wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt and jacket and black boots, and carrying a black satchel-type bag. Those with information area asked to contact NCPD Community Impact Officer Kelly Coughlin at or 203-989-6050. Coughlin started in the downtown assignment in January, on the heels of the robbery in the fall of People’s Bank on Main Street and two daytime thefts of more than $7,000 in merchandise from Ralph Lauren on Elm Street. 

Pedestrian Barricades, Outdoor Dining Return To Downtown New Canaan with Warmer Weather

With snow from winter storms melted away in downtown New Canaan and warmer weather expected, public works officials this week re-installed barriers downtown that will allow for restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas. Public Works Director Tiger Mann said Monday that the “barricades are back out, so the restaurants will be able to expand out.”

“It’s going to be absolutely beautiful for this week, 60 degrees by Thursday, so we are hoping there will be no snow,” Mann said during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure. Created last May in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the water-filled barricades on Main, Elm and Forest Streets have allowed restaurants to expand onto the sidewalks while creating pedestrian walkways in the street. Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said the organization was “pleased that as soon as all the snow melted and was taken away, the DPW crew cleaned up the streets and put the barriers back out.”

“It’s a team effort,” she said. “We saw the Fire Department filling them back up with water to make them protective.