Officials this month approved a midblock crosswalk downtown to ease pedestrian passage between the new Board of Education offices and a local business.
The Police Commission during its May 18 meeting voted 3-0 in favor of installing a crosswalk at 220 Elm St., connecting the New Canaan Public Schools offices to Walter Stewart’s Market.
Some students who attend programs at the Board of Ed also work at Walter Stewart’s, prompting the superintendent of schools to request a crosswalk for safe pedestrian passage, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.
“They have a kind of a working relationship,” Mann said at the meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters and via videoconference.
Commission Chair Jim McLaughlin, Secretary Shekaiba Bennett and member Paul Foley voted to approve the crosswalk.
Mann said he found the sightlines to be adequate, with sidewalks on both sides of Elm Street at least five feet wide.
“We are looking to install a rapid rectangular flashing beacon at the location to enhance visibility and ensure the safety of students crossing the street,” he said.
The proposed crosswalk design adheres to standard specifications, featuring a ramp on one side and a cutout for the beacon posts, he said.
Jeff Holland, a New Canaan resident, had sent an email to the town regarding the crosswalk proposal and raised several concerns—for example, that the plan had not been vetted by an engineer, that the street is narrow, that there’s adequate signage and that the crosswalk is not being introduced as part of a more comprehensive overall plan. New Canaanite obtained Holland’s letter through a public records request.
The officials at the meeting said they were comfortable with the proposal, and Police Chief John DiFederico raised no objections.
Foley said, “I think it’s a great idea. People have been crossing there in the middle of the street for years.”