Town officials say a pair of trees at the start of Down River Road have created sightline problems, including for motorists traveling southbound (away from town) on Main Street, and should come down.
Two of the evergreens planted on the corner in front of 5 Down River Road should be removed for safety reasons (and, for aesthetic reasons, not simply pruned back), according to members of the Traffic Calming Work Group. The group, which fields traffic-calming requests in New Canaan, includes officials from the New Canaan Police Department, Department of Public Works and Fire Department.
“When they were planted, they were planted almost directly on the line [between private and public property near Main Street],” Tiger Mann, assistant director of DPW, said during the meeting held Monday at police headquarters. “But now it’s been a while. Years. So now they’re way over.”
The problem is not only the sightline issue for motorists traveling along Main Street but also for drivers seeking to pull out onto Main from Down River Road, Mann said.
Police likely will approach those responsible for the house and planted trees about what to do. The residents at the home could not be reached for comment.
According to Mann, the trees would be an eyesore if they remained after being pruned to the degree that’s needed to create a safe roadway there.
Here’s a video from Wednesday at the intersection that shows the trees (article continues below):
“The problem is, if we cut them back, they’re going to look like they got butchered,” he said. “There’s nothing inside an evergreen, so once we try to prune them back they’re going to look terrible. So what we’ve thought is that first one should be taken down. There’s another one just a little bit to the south that probably should be pruned up a little bit.”
The town also is seeking to install two signs along Main Street that will warn northbound motorists not only that there’s an intersection ahead, but also that there’s a school bus stop there on Main.
DPW would take care of funding the cost of removing the trees if it’s a problem, Mann said. Another possible hurdle may be that the trees themselves could be seen by the homeowner or tenant as protecting the house and porch from motorists driving off the road. On Dec. 26 last year, a car traveling southbound drove off of Main Street, across some lawns, and crashed into the front porch at 5 Down River Road.
Here’s the area we’re talking about: