106 and Carter: Officials Consider Directing Motorists to Clapboard Hill Road

One way to address the problem of motorists seeking to cross Route 106 from Carter Street to Canoe Hill Road—a difficult maneuver, given limited sight lines and busy traffic—may be to encourage drivers to enter the state road sooner. If northbound motorists on Carter connect to 106 by cutting through on Clapboard Hill Road, they would be better positioned to turn left onto Canoe Hill Road a bit further up, officials said during last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. “You would have all the traffic come down Clapboard Hill onto 106, make a turn onto 106 and then you can then proceed with a left-hand turn onto Canoe Hill or proceed onto straight up 106 itself at that point and basically bypass the intersection,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen during their April 19 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

“So the thought is to put signage at Clapboard Hill saying ‘Alternative Route,’ right? So that we’ll get people to go down Clapboard Hill. That’s an alternative.

Town Petitions State for Speed Limit Reduction on Route 123

Town officials are petitioning the state to change the speed limit on Route 123 to 40 mph throughout its entire stretch in New Canaan. As it is now, the speed limit is 45 mph from New Norwalk Road to East Avenue, then 40 mph to Michigan Road and 45 mph from Michigan to the New York state line, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. Residents of upper 123 have asked Mann to request a reduction in the speed limit which at 45 mph “is a little bit excessive given the amount of traffic that is there,” he told members of the Police Commission at their April 20 meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department and via videoconference. The request for a change in the speed limit on a state road such as 123 must come from the town’s designated “local traffic authority,” which is the Police Commission. Chair Paul Foley, Secretary Jim McLaughlin and member Shekaiba Bennett voted 3-0 in favor of the request for a reduction. 

Police Deputy Chief John DiFederico supported the request, saying the neighborhoods near 123 are often “densely populated.”

“It is radically inconsistent to go from 45 to 40 and 45,” DiFederico said.

After Crash, Town Approves Guiderail Installation on Cascade Road

Town officials last week approved the installation of new guiderails along a road in northwestern New Canaan in the area of a recent car crash. When officials investigated the site of the Cascade Road crash, they found “a severe drop-off,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the Board of Selectmen at their April 5 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

“The only thing that stopped the car from going over the edge was one boulder and a fence line,” Mann said. The guiderail will hug a curb on a downhill run on Cascade toward Stamford, he said. “It’s a steep hill,” Mann said. “It’s a steep embankment and it probably should have been done in the past.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of an approximately $40,000 contract with Atlas Companies LLC to do the work. 

In the same vote, the selectmen approved an approximately $25,000 contract with Atlas to replace guiderails on the eastern side of Lapham Road, near a heavily used entrance to Waveny Park trails, with an eye on doing the other side of the road in the future. 

“These rails are nearing the end of their useful life,” Mann said.

Selectman Corbet Raises Pedestrian Safety Concern at Farm and South

Town officials say they’re asking police to speak to the school crossing guard at Farm Road and South Avenue about parking his vehicle more safely for those using the sidewalk there. Selectman Kathleen Corbet said Tuesday that a constituent had voiced a concern regarding the crossing guard’s car or truck being “adjacent or on the sidewalk” on the northeast corner of the busy intersection, “forcing pedestrians to kind of go off the sidewalk, to go around.”

“If we could just assure that the crossing guard has a proper place to park so it’s not over the sidewalk, that would be great,” Corbet said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

The comments came during discussion of a Department of Public Works request to approve $180,000 to replace the sidewalks on Farm Road between South Avenue and Main Street. 

Public Works Director Tiger Mann said the town “created an area for him to pull off and we try to maintain that for him, especially during inclement weather but sometimes he forgets and parks over atop of the sidewalk.”

Mann said he would speak to the New Canaan Police Department, which oversees crossing guards. “Then when we come forward, we will be redoing that portion of sidewalk and then we will try to make it even more inviting place for him to park,” Mann said. “So he will park off the side.”

The selectmen voted 3-0 to approve the $182,400 sidewalk replacement contract with New Canaan-based Peter Lanni Inc.

Mann said that over the winter the sidewalks “started to literally come apart down at the bottom of the hill.”

Funds for the sidewalk replacement are available in a budget set aside for such projects, Mann said. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Corbet and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of the contract.

Podcast: ‘Swap Shop’ Coming to the Transfer Station This Summer

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we share some exciting news from New Canaan’s public works director, Tiger Mann, about a long-planned “swap shop” coming to the New Canaan Transfer Station. The swap shop could launch as early as May or June, Mann said, in partnership with Planet New Canaan. Those interested in learning more about volunteering at the future New Canaan swap shop should email planetnewcanaan@gmail.com. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: