Town Pursuing Traffic-Calming Measures on Conrad Road

Responding to traffic and safety concerns from the neighborhood, town officials say they’re asking the state for permission to make changes in the area of Conrad Road. Officials are asking the state Department of Transportation whether Conrad—a cut-through between Gerdes Road and South Avenue for motor vehicles seeking to get onto the Merritt Parkway at Exit 37—could be designated as a “no thru traffic” street, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. The town also can ask the state whether the timing of the light at Gerdes Road and South Avenue could be adjusted in order to release more motor vehicles from Gerdes onto the Merritt, Mann said, though that “would be very difficult to enforce.”

“We would just be shifting it back to Gerdes one way or another,” Mann said during the Police Commission’s July 19 meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. The DOT’s Office of State Traffic Administration or OSTA “might not have a problem because it would be intra-town not inter-town, but it might be a problem with enforcement,” he added. In addition, the state’s “primary concern all the time is traffic on their road,” Route 124/South Avenue, Mann said.

Commission Approves Crosswalk for Elm Street at New BOE Offices

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.

‘We’re a Little Frustrated’: State Denies Request to Change Speed Limit on Route 123 

One year after the town formally requested that the state make the speed limit along Route 123 in New Canaan 40 mph throughout, the Connecticut Department of Transportation issued its denial, officials say. Citing safety concerns, the Police Commission last April backed the town’s request to convert two 45 mph zones—at the southernmost and northernmost stretches of the state road through New Canaan—to 40 mph. The state “took over a year to analyze it and came back and basically said they’re not going to change anything,” Police Chief John DiFederico told members of the Police Commission at their April 19 meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. “They agreed to extend the 45 mph zone a little bit further south of the Lakeview area but that was it,” DiFederico said. “They are not going to change it.”

He added, “This is all residential areas, all residential roads.

Town Plans for Increased Pedestrian Traffic, Safety at South and Maple [UPDATED]

[Note: This article has been updated to say the pedestrian-activated beacons will run across South Avenue on the south side of the intersection with Maple Street.]

Saying the newly built New Canaan Library is expected to draw even more walkers in the area of South Avenue at Maple Street, town officials last week voted in favor of installing a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon there. The new set of rapid rectangular flashing beacons or “RRFBs” will run across South Avenue on the south side, where there’s an existing crosswalk, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “Given the fact that the library will be opening and some of their people are going to be parking across at St. Aloysius and then St. Aloysius is still using the library as their library, the library becoming more of a hub, we request to upgrade the signage at South and Maple,” Mann told members of the Police Commission during their Jan.

Town Turns Down Request To Remove ‘No Turn on Red’ Sign

Citing safety concerns, officials last week denied a resident’s request to rid one leg of a busy downtown intersection of its “No Turn on Red” designation. Motorists traveling toward town on Heritage Hill Road cannot turn right at the light at Main Street. New Canaan resident David Kirby met with Public Works Director Tiger Mann to ask whether the “No Turn on Red” designation could be removed in order to improve traffic flow. Yet the light helps ensure that motorists turning onto Main Street just below the intersection, from Locust Avenue, are unimpeded as they pass by Heritage Hill Road, officials said at the Jan. 18 Police Commission meeting.