Town To Revisit Traffic Safety Improvements at 106 and Carter

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Scene of an accident at Silvermine Road and Carter Street on May 7, 2016. Photo published with permission from its owner

Town officials say they’ll look again at a plan to improve traffic safety Silvermine Road and Carter Street following two collisions there this month.

New Canaan public works and police officials more than five years ago sought to increase the “skew angles” of the two town roads, so that instead of shooting straight across Silvermine Road, motorists coming from Carter would make a right onto 106 and then queue up to make a left onto Canoe Hill. Though state officials said at the time that they support the plan (Route 106 is a state road), they also called for a traffic engineering study to ensure that the change wouldn’t create new problems—and no improvements were made.

Selectman Kathleen Corbet during the Board of Selectmen’s Sept. 7 meeting flagged the intersection as a traffic safety problem for northbound motorists on Carter Street seeking to get across.

Noting that his own father-in-law lives near the intersection, Selectman Nick Williams agreed with Corbet, saying, “It’s a disaster. It’s been a disaster. You literally have to, if you’re going north on Carter, in order to turn onto Canoe Hill Road, you have to take a right, stop and look, and then go left.”

Noting that the number of reported crashes there is extremely low, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said the intersection is “scary but not actually dangerous.”

The intersection also is “not really busy,” Moynihan said. (Moynihan that he hoped the New Canaan Police Commission would reconsider putting in a stop sign at Weed and Elm Streets.)

Last week, Corbet again raised the specter of Carter and Silvermine, saying “unfortunately, since our last meeting, there have been two more accidents at that location, minor injuries and they did not require any sort of transport but that actually brings us to four accidents in location in the last two months.”

The crashes “have raised a lot of concern,” Corbet added, and referred to a social media platform. 

When Moynihan noted that Silvermine Road doubles there as state Route 106, Corbet responded, “But I think there are some things that we can do.”

New Canaan has petitioned the state in the past for a stop light or four-way intersection at Carter and Silvermine, and both of those requests were denied, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. Though the Connecticut Department of Transportation decides on improvements such as traffic lights and stop signs, “the work on sight line changes and things of that nature are shared between the state and the town, the majority of which falls on the town’s shoulders,” Mann said.

Moynihan said has said the intersection at Silvermine and Carter doesn’t have enough motor activity to warrant spending money on improvements. Mann said that “off-setting” where Carter comes into 106 would mainly involve curbing and striping, which would be low-cost.

If such a plan earns the support of the Police Commission, state officials still would need to approve it. The Police Commission is next scheduled to meet Oct. 20.

13 thoughts on “Town To Revisit Traffic Safety Improvements at 106 and Carter

  1. It is a dangerous intersection but a good driver will always turn right, stop and look before turning left. Just last week, a driver ahead of me, blew straight through, making me cringe.

    A one-way island blocking straight through access should help the clueless.

  2. As a town resident who lives on the east side of town, I use the Carter Street to Canoe Hill route on an almost daily basis and each time that I cross over 106 my heart skips a beat. It is a blind curve and it is dangerous, especially for those who don’t use that route regularly and don’t understand how to navigate it. Contrary to what Moynihan may think, it is a busy corner, esp. during the morning and evening rush hours. What is town waiting for – a more serious accident? Please do something for the safety of our residents.
    Thank you.

  3. I’ve lived in New Canaan for nearly 40 years and for that entire time the intersection of Route 106, Carter St and Canoe Hill Road has been dangerous. Given that Aquarion is going to be digging a pipeline across Rt. 106 in the next yearor so the Town could couple the reconstruction of the intersection with that project. I would support the creation of a standard crossing with a traffic light. Despite its narrow and serpentine roadbed, Route 106 it is a major thoroughfare and traffic is only going to increase in the coming years. We should prepare for it now.

  4. I live on East Ave, just on the other side of 123. I’m in the “cringe worthy intersection” camp. I feel this junction is very busy. It’s used by both commuters and locals . Have pneumatic road tubes ever been put down to measure the car count in this area? Those deliver facts. If all else fails because the state has the final say, at least tree and bush trimming can improve sight lines.

  5. THANKS TO THOSE POINTING OUT THAT THE INTERSECTION OF CARTER ST /106/ACANOE HILL IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! AS ONE WHO HAS LIVED IN NEW CANAAN FOR OVER 50 YEARS I AGREE THAT THE TIME HAS COME TO FIX IT BEFORE A VERY SERIOUS ACCIDENT! WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR??

  6. Obviously a difficult intersection with horrible sight lines, and amazed there haven’t been more serious crashes. And it is not only an issue trying to cross from Carter to Canoe Hill; taking a left from Carter on to 106 is no picnic either.

    “The intersection also is ‘not really busy,’ Moynihan said.”

    “Moynihan said the intersection at Silvermine and Carter doesn’t have enough motor activity to warrant spending money on improvements.”

    And would be very curious to know where he’s getting his data. I invite him to spend some time on this corner, particularly during school pick up/drop off, and evening commute hours, to see just how many cars and trucks (and how fast they travel) use 106 — a very busy cut through from Wilton and Norwalk.

  7. I live feet away from this intersection. It is “a very bad thing waiting to happen”. I really hope they take action before it is too late. It does get extremely busy and drivers drive too fast from the east to what is essentially a blind curve.

  8. I’m so glad this is being discussed. This intersection is completely unsafe. We are so lucky that so far the injuries have been minor. Let’s do what we need to to fix it. A four way stop will save lives.

  9. Ever since the construction (installation of a “bridge”) on Route 123 a few months ago, with detours onto Canoe Hill and then Carter St to the Merritt, I have been taking that route to avoid traffic lights and it saves about 5 minutes.
    But the return trip traveling north from Carter St. is terrifying at that intersection. I guess a stop sign for traffic coming west on Silvermine Ave, or a round-about/rotary might help. But please do something!
    The Town/State made adjustments to the sight lines on 123 and Michigan Rd and solved that problem nicely.

  10. Some readers may remember the late New Canaan sports legend and Old Timer Skeeter DePalma. One evening he was coming west on Silvermine Road toward New Canaan in his little pickup. A motorist on Carter Street failed to stop and struck the truck on the driver’s side, totaling the truck. Skeeter, however, felt great – his sore back was apparently “adjusted” by the impact. If you knew Skeeter, I’m sure this would not surprise you.

  11. I invite all to schedule a meeting to learn my and my wife, Sarah’s thoughts.

    We promise to inform all of the best solution.

    Sincerely,

    Charles L. & Sarah T. Robinson
    4 Carter Street
    New Canaan, CT 06840

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