Parade Hill Road Residents Petition Town for Traffic-Calming


Saying their neighborhood sees vehicles driving dangerously fast around blind turns as well as heavy commercial traffic, residents of Parade Hill Road and adjoining streets are appealing to town officials for traffic-calming.

A petition signed by 33 residents of Parade Hill Road and its offshoots—Hampton Lane, Rural Drive, Siwanoy Lane and Riverbank Court—calls for town officials to consider a speed limit reduction, sidewalk construction and/or limitation of the streets as a cut-thru for commercial traffic (traveling between Oenoke Ridge Road and Route 123).

Mary Maechling, a mother of three boys—South School third- and first-graders and a 3-year-old preschooler at home—said that in order for her kids to play safely in the front yard of her home on Parade Hill Road, she must position herself at the end of the driveway.

“I’m sure any parent would do that on a busy road, but I’m scared because even if a driver sees them [the kids], nobody slows down,” Maechling told

Mary Maechling of Parade Hill Road with her preschooler, David.

Mary Maechling of Parade Hill Road with her 3-year-old son, David.

At its southern end, Parade Hill starts at the “off-ramp” for southbound traffic on 123—one of the worst intersections in New Canaan—and follows a roughly straight line past Riverbank Court, then abruptly turns 90 degrees west and climbs a steep hill with another sharp turn before coming perpendicularly into Oenoke Ridge Road.

Maechling lives just below that second turn, and says motor vehicles seem rarely to slow down to accommodate reduced sightlines.

“They zip around and it doesn’t appear that they would have enough reaction time to deal with other cars on the road or kids crossing the street,” she said. “The big trucks take the curves at the same speed the cars do, and that concerns me because they’re large dump trucks as well as landscapers with trailers.”

Here’s a look at the turns we’re talking about, the article continues below.

According to the petition, the road isn’t wide enough to take large 16-wheeler traffic, and it’s busy weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Requests for traffic-calming in New Canaan require 50 percent of households on an affected street to sign off on a form—available here, in the Police Commission tab on New Canaan’s municipal website—and are fielded by a working group that includes leaders from police, fire and public works.

The Traffic Calming Work Group took up the Parade Hill petition at its most recent meeting.

Tiger Mann, assistant director of the Department of Public Works, said the matter has arisen in the past and “it’s a question of whether we can actually construct anything here.”

“It’s a narrow road and it’s difficult up near the top by 124,” Mann said.

New Canaan Police Capt. John DiFederico suggested the department start by capturing data about the speeds of motorists on Parade Hill Road through sentries and also do some targeted speed limit enforcement.

The road currently does not have “No Thru-Truck” status. However, that designation is largely misunderstood: It doesn’t mean that a commercial truck cannot travel on a road designated as a no thru-truck zone—only that a commercial truck that is making no stops in New Canaan (anywhere in town, not just on that road), cannot travel on a designated no thru-truck street.

“It’s very hard to enforce,” Mann said.

Maureen Chiodo moved to New Canaan a few years ago with her family—now 4-year-old Welsh corgie Teddy, and human children aged 3 and 1—and that what attracted her to Riverbank Court was that it was a walkable area close to downtown.

“I’m kind of the neighborhood crazy walking lady,” Chiodo said with a laugh.

Yet it’s rare that she feels safe walking or running on Parade Hill Road—a street that lacks not only sidewalks on her stretch but has no space on either side beyond the narrow width of the road itself, no real shoulder.

“I am more concerned about the truck traffic,” she said. “I would say a lot of motorists on the road are courteous if they see me walking, but a couple of people wiz right by at 45 miles an hour. Most are good but, especially this time of year, construction trucks and lawn maintenance vehicles just don’t leave any margin for error if they’re not paying attention.”

Henry Levinsky has owned property on Parade Hill Road for many years and has lived in a house there himself, including with his son, now a New Canaan High School freshman.

He said police have been highly responsive in past years to his requests to check on speeders, and added that the solution is short-term: As soon as the police no longer are there writing tickets, the speed of motorists on Parade Hill Road re-escalates.

Asked for his own dream solution, Levinsky mentioned speed bumps (something others on the street have said they wouldn’t support because of the noise of trucks crossing them).

“To me that would be the ultimate but in many respects that’s fought tooth-and-nail,” Levinsy said.

He added that a rise in the road near his home creates a lot of noise already when loaded trucks pass.

“When these trucks go by with a dumpster on the back or the tailgates open, and they start slamming this equipment, I mean it’s just awful sometimes,” he said.

Here’s the neighborhood:

One thought on “Parade Hill Road Residents Petition Town for Traffic-Calming

  1. There is way too much traffic on parade hill rd and would like to see more stop signs and speed bumps on this street. We have little kids and it is very unsafe at how fast people drive

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