‘Good To See It Back’: New Canaan Holiday Stroll Returns Dec. 3 To Elm Street

Town officials last week voted in favor of closing parts of Elm Street to motor vehicle traffic on Friday, Dec. 3 for the return of a popular kickoff event for the holidays and local shopping. The New Canaan Holiday Stroll returns this year after taking 2020 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Good to see it back,” Police Commission Chair Paul Foley said during  the appointed body’s Nov. 17 meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters and via videoconference.

Traffic Engineer Recommends Safety Improvements around Sharp Curve on Route 106

The town and state could improve safety at a sharp curve on Old Stamford Road/Route 106 by installing roadside radar speed signs and “rumble strips” along the double-yellow centerline, according to a traffic engineer hired to review the area. The town also should paint hatched pavement lines in the wide paved shoulder of the curve near 93 Old Stamford Road, according to Michael Galante, director of traffic at Norwalk-based Hardesty & Hanover. “This section of Old Stamford Road is not illuminated with street lights and, therefore, further reduces the visibility of a motorist traveling through this curve,” Gallante added in a Nov. 8 report obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a public records request. 

“The accident study indicated that 67 percent of the accents occurred at night, as well as all three fixed object accidents occurred at night. Therefore, it is recommended that the Town work with the Utility Company to install light fixtures on existing poles, located on the easterly side of Old Stamford Road, north of Old Studio Road (northerly intersection) and the vicinity of the [Bristow] Park.”

The recommendations come as town officials say they’re working on a plan to improve safety at a dangerous curve on state Route 106 where serious crashes involving teenage drivers occurred in September. 

The town hired Gallante to review the area of the sharp curve between the northern intersection of 106 and Old Studio Road and Bristow Bird Sanctuary—to see “if any improvements can be made,” according to New Canaan Police Deputy Chief John DiFederico.

Police Commission Chair Vows To Support Homeowner Seeking Wider Curb Cut for Driveway

The chair of the Police Commission said last week that he would sign a letter to the state supporting a New Canaan homeowner’s bid to widen their curb cut along Route 123 by about 30%. 

As it is, the driveway at 507 Smith Ridge Road is 26 feet wide at the curb cut, or four feet wider than what the state Department of Transportation would normally allow, a representative of the homeowner told members of the Police Commission at their Oct. 20 meeting. Saying that traffic on the busy north-south artery often exceeds the posted speed limit, the homeowner is seeking to widen the driveway by eight feet more, to 34 feet total, landscape architect Allan Broadbent said during the meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters as well as via videoconference. 

Broadbent said his client purchased the property earlier this year “and within several weeks had a few near-misses of almost getting rear-ended.”

“You all know how it is to drive on Smith Ridge,” Broadbent said. “Traffic flies, and so you have to really slam on your brakes to get into the driveway. So I was hired as landscape architect to investigate if we could make that safer.