Saying they’d heard some voices of opposition from neighbors, members of the Police Commission at their most recent meeting voted unanimously against a proposal to allow a trial-run valet stand on Forest Street. Residents of the Heritage Square condominiums wrote letters opposing a proposal from New Canaan Valet Services to operate a three-space valet stand on the west side of the street, between numbers 20 and 26 Forest St., according to members of the Commission. “I am uncomfortable giving up public property on a public street to a private enterprise,” Chair Paul Foley said during the appointed body’s Nov. 17 meeting. He joined Commissioner Shekaiba Bennett and Secretary Jim McLaughlin in voting 3-0 against a proposal from New Canaan resident Billy MacLeod.
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.
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.
The Police Commission at its most recent meeting put off a yes-or-no vote on a proposal from a New Canaan business owner seeking to operate a valet stand on Forest Street on weekend nights for a trial run, saying there could be legal reasons for denying the request.
Commission Chair Paul Foley during the appointed body’s Oct. 20 meeting that he’s uncomfortable with the idea of “giving up public parking spaces to a private company.”
“I can’t go along with this, because I cannot give up public parking spaces on our street to a private business,” Foley said during the meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. “I think it works great at a Roger Sherman Inn. I think it works great at a private party, and I think it works great in a parking lot where you have a restaurant and a private parking lot, if you will, at a mall or something where you pull up, you get out of your car and they valet your car. Or you pull up to a hotel, they valet your car.
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.