Town Officials Bemoan Anonymous Nature of Traffic Complaint to State

While he or she has a right to flag the issue, the anonymous nature of a complaint lodged with the state that will likely result in downtown New Canaan losing some parking as well as pedestrian crosswalks is troublesome, Selectman Kit Devereaux said Tuesday. Town officials have said representatives of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, as a result of the complaint, are seeking “immediate compliance” with a 1949 state law that requires a 25-foot no-parking zone on either side of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street. Reached by NewCanaanite.com, DOT officials said the complaint came in via phone and there’s no record of the complainant’s name. The “anonymous aspect of one of our residents requiring this work” is bothersome, Devereaux said during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting. “I just wish they would come forward and justify what they are doing so we can all understand rather than feel it’s some kind of anonymous assault,” she said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

Main Street To Lose Parking Spaces after Complaint to State

After experiencing similar pain last summer, New Canaan stands to lose more parking spaces downtown as state officials, acting on a formal complaint, impose a legally required 25-foot no-parking zone on either side of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street. Main Street running north from Cherry doubles as state Routes 106 and 124, and four crosswalks along that stretch would be affected, officials said—two at Elm and two at East Avenue. If nothing changes, New Canaan would lose some 12 parking spaces, though Department of Public Works Director Tiger Mann when asked about the situation said it’s possible the town could eliminate one crosswalk at each intersection in order to preserve some of that parking. Officials in the Connecticut Department of Transportation are seeking “immediate compliance” with the 1949 state law, according to Mann. A Fairfield-based transportation consultant was summoned to study the area and put together a proposal that may include a recommendation to eliminate the northern crosswalks at each intersection, Mann said.

Selectmen Approve $35,000 Annual Contract for Public Roads Analysis, Management Service

Town officials last week approved a $35,000 contract with a Burlington, Mass.-based company for a data-collection effort designed to help New Canaan track the condition of its roads and sidewalks. In addition to updating the “pavement condition index” or ‘PCI’ of 286 local roads, the work from StreetScan Inc. will provide a complete inventory of related “assets” such as road striping, signage, catch basins, manholes, water valves and roadside trees, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “It’s a fantastic idea to have all of our assets in one place, so all in, we think this an excellent step forward,” Mann told the Board of Selectmen at its Aug. 6 meeting, held at Town Hall. The three-year contract, at $35,240 annually, represents “municipal pricing” that is lower than what StreetScan had quoted in the past, Mann said.

NCHS Senior Interns Continue in Town Hall Positions After Graduation

Before starting his New Canaan High School Senior Internship in the Department of Public Works, Kevin O’Brien Brunner said he never thought about how the town ran. “I just assumed that things happened,” Brunner said on a sunny afternoon last week. “Being able to actually work here, I not only get to see what’s behind the curtain—how it actually runs—but I also get to meet the real people with real lives who are making it run,” he said. The NCHS Senior Internship Program has grown in its nine years that nearly all seniors participate in it. What’s more rare is for those college-bound teens to work the summer after graduating NCHS at their internship sites.