A prominent local resident this month raised traffic safety concerns to members of New Canaan’s local on-street parking authority.
Though parking currently is allowed on both sides of Hoyt Street, the vehicles on both sides of the road could make it difficult for a large emergency response vehicle to get to residents in need, according to longtime New Canaanite Christine Hussey.
“People are parking on both sides, and if you are having a heart attack or a stroke or if you’re having a baby, and you need the ambulance—God forbid you need a firetruck—there is no way that vehicle is going to be able to pass,” Hussey told the Police Commission at its Nov. 16 meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters and via videoconference.
“And I’m saying I think it would be very wise and prudent of us to allow parking on one side, maybe as you are going up to Main, on the right side, because if they park on the left side, they park right on the curb, and that makes it difficult if you are coming from East Avenue and it’s a big car and you’re not in a big car, you come around there’s someone coming right at you,” she said. “So my thought would be to eliminate going from Main to Hoyt, eliminate parking on the left side. Just my humble opinion.”
The comments came during a portion of the meeting dedicated to new business before the Commission. The Police Commission is New Canaan’s state-designated local traffic authority and is empowered, by Town Charter, with decisions on matters such as on-street parking and road closures.
Hussey said her only goal in bringing concerns to the Commission was public safety.
“I’m on the road a lot and I see things that I think are unsafe and you let it go but after a while you say to yourself, ‘This could be a very serious situation if it continues as it is now’ and there are several places,” she said.
Hussey added, “I believe in doing things that prevent a bad situation. I don’t want somebody to have a heart attack or have some awful thing happen, and the emergency vehicle—that’s my only concern—the emergency vehicle should be able to have access.”
In addition to Hoyt Street, Hussey flagged a problem on Main Street just north of the Lakeview Avenue intersection. Residents of a co-op located there often park near the corner and it can prevent motorists coming up Lakeview from seeing southbound traffic, forcing them to inch out into the roadway, she said.
Hussey suggested creating a no-parking zone for about two spaces north of the intersection.
“Still allow parking on Main, but give the person coming up—especially if it’s a little short person or child that just got their license—they cannot see,” she said.
Finally, Hussey said speeding motorists pulling off of Locust Avenue onto Cherry Street have created a dangerous situation for motorists exiting the Bankwell branch there. Motor vehicles, often trucks, parked in front of the community bank can obstruct the sight line, making it unsafe for motorists to pull out and exposing the driver’s side of those exiting vehicles, she said.
“I don’t why but all of the sudden people seem to be flying down Cherry, how they gain that much speed coming off of Locust, but the driver will be hit,” she said.
Commissioners asked Hussey questions to clarify the locations she was describing and thanked her for the input.