Town Officials Appropriate $13,650 for Traffic Study in Advance of Locust Avenue Parking Deck Construction


Town officials on Tuesday appropriated funds for a traffic study that’s expected to kickstart in earnest the creation of a widely anticipated parking deck at the Locust Avenue Lot.

On a backburner for more than two years during the renovation and expansion of Town Hall, plans call for a parking tier accessible from Heritage Hill Road with a non-connected lower level that feeds onto Locust Avenue—a project that would add 89 overall spaces to the lot.

There would be no connecting ramp between the two levels—installing one would cost the structure about 20 spaces—and the upper deck would meet a need for permitted parking for town employees and commuters, with the lower level serving downtown visitors, according to Joe Zagarenski, senior engineer in the Department of Public Works.

The $13,650 appropriated this week—to Cheshire-based consulting firm Milone & MacBroom—will pay for an updated traffic study, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said during the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, held at Town Hall.

“One of the things we had heard was that the traffic study we had done in 2005-2006 was done at a certain time of the year” that did not capture downtown New Canaan during a realistically active time, Mallozzi said.

“We decided to update it, specifically for that corner and bring it into the June type timeframe when the town is busy,” Mallozzi said.

“That corner” being the complicated intersection where Main Street comes into Locust Avenue and Heritage Hill Road, near the foot of God’s Acre.

Selectman Beth Jones noted that residents of Heritage Hill Road have been concerned about what effect the sole entrance and egress of a new parking deck onto their street would have on traffic there, particularly as it concerns the rather close traffic light opposite the Red Cross building.

Zagarenski said he and DPW Director Michael Pastore have met with those neighbors and that they’ve been invited to a kickoff meeting as the traffic study gets underway.

The town has earmarked $4 million in the fluid 5-year capital plan for next fiscal year for the Locust Avenue parking deck. The project itself likely is two years away, Mallozzi has said. Town officials are putting in for $2 million in state-administered funds to help offset costs.

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