‘People Are Just Not Stopping’: South School Crosswalk To Get Pedestrian-Activated Flashing Beacon

Saying the leadership at South School has flagged a safety issue for kids, town officials on Wednesday approved the installation of a second set of pedestrian-activated flashing beacons on Gower Road. The Police Commission about one year ago approved a set of “rapid rectangular flashing beacons” or “RRFBs” for a crosswalk leading from a Douglas Road neighborhood pathway to a playground at South. 

During its regular meeting Wednesday night, the Commission approved another set of RRFBs for a crosswalk located further east, near a parking area at the school. Public Works Director Tiger Mann, in seeking approval from the appointed body, said the new request came from both New Canaan Police School Resource Officer Shane Gibson and South School Principal Matt Kascak. Though the first set of RRFBs has been helpful is slowing Gower motorists, “the problem still is that cars are not stopping for kids as they want to try to come through the crosswalk,” Mann said. “And this is probably the major artery for walkers to South School to come down Gower Road and cross this intersection,” he said at the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

Town Approves Funds To Finish Redesign of New Pedestrian Crossing at Route 123 and Brushy Ridge/Locust Avenue

Town officials last week approved another $10,000 in consulting fees in order to finish redesigning a busy intersection to the state’s satisfaction. Residents have been calling for improvements to the intersection of Route 123 at Locust Avenue/Brushy Ridge for nearly 10 years, and the town—with New Haven-based traffic consultants Fuss & O’Neill—has already worked and re-worked plans for a safe pedestrian crossing at the busy state road. Yet officials with the state Department of Transportation have returned repeatedly with additional changes to the plan, such as changing the pedestrian crosswalk from the southern end of the intersection to the northern end. Specifically, according to New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann, the town proposed the “idea of extending the sidewalk down Brushy Ridge to come across 123 to attach to the sidewalk that’s at Locust Avenue”

“Associated with that would be some signal modifications—specifically to the pedestrian heads as far as the locations and then the timing,” Mann told the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held Jan. 4 at Town Hall and via videoconference.

Police Commission Takes No Action Following Sight Line Concern at Farm and Main

Saying the intersection works as-is, members of New Canaan’s local traffic authority will take no action in response to residents’ call for changes at the Main-Old Norwalk-White Oak Shade-Farm Road four-way. The Police Commission in December received at least two letters from residents voicing concerns about a picket fence recently installed atop a stone wall on the south side of Old Norwalk Road, at the intersection. Obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a public records request, the letters note that the fence appears to violate two sections of the New Canaan Zoning Regulations (see pages 154 and 161 here). In a Dec. 6 letter to the Commission, Peter Cooley notes that the fence atop the rock wall is taller than allowed and also in a public right-of-way.