Police Commission Puts Off Decision on Proposal for Raised Crosswalk Between Center School Lot, New Library
Members of the Police Commission said at their most recent meeting that they need more time to decide whether a proposed new crosswalk connecting Center School Lot with the main entrance of a rebuilt New Canaan Library should be raised or level with the roadway.
Library officials have proposed that the crosswalk spanning Maple Street should be raised not only to accommodate those using six disabled spaces in the parking lot but also as a traffic calming and safety measure for the 400 mothers and children who use the facility each day. In addition, four disabled spaces that the library now plans to install on-site are around the back of the planned new building and further away from the entrance than the disabled spaces in the Center School Lot, officials told the Commission at its April 21 meeting, held via videoconference. “Where we would have to put the spaces on the library side [of Maple Street] is sort of around the back of the building a little bit, and it’s more for accessibility to the library green and if there are employees at some point in time who would have access to it, because that’s where you would typically go in as an employee,” attorney Brian Smith of Robinson + Cole, representing the library, told the Commission. “It also obviously serves the purpose of providing the four spaces needed, but by changing and adding and rearranging the six spaces in Center School Lot, we would be providing more accessibility altogether, which we think is the proper thing to do.”
New signage, and a pedestrian-activated “rapid rectangular flashing beacon” that alerts motorists to those using the crosswalk—similar to those located at Weed and Elm Streets—also are planned for area. Yet there could better ways to ensure that motorists are driving slowly on Maple Street, and given that the library’s applications for its new building are still before the Planning & Zoning Commission, meaning it’s not certain just how on-site disabled parking will be handled, Police Commission Chair Paul Foley suggested the appointed body wait at least one month before signing off on the new raised crosswalk.