Darien police discuss traffic safety, parking issues
Pedestrian safety in town was a large topic of discussion at the recent Darien Police Commission meeting.
The Distracted Driving Campaign has started for the month of April. Officers will be targeting drivers using cell phones and other distracted driving violations throughout the month.
The department received a state grant to cover some overtime costs for the officers to participate in this program. They will be writing tickets for cell phone violations and other distracted driving violations.
Chief Ray Osborne spoke about installing Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI), which give pedestrians about a three-second head start when entering an intersection with a corresponding green signal in the same direction of travel.
Capt. Don Anderson and Public Works Director Ed Gentile will be attending a roundtable discussion in Manchester with state Department of Transportation officials on April 24 to get more information on this. Members of the police department said the LPI would help with the congestion and pedestrian safety downtown.
Another officer said New York City already has several intersections that have LPI programmed into their traffic lights.
The officer added that some of the experts say the LPI can potentially see a reduction of up to 60 percent of pedestrian collisions.
The Darien Police Department is exploring this topic.
No parking signs at Brook Street and Post Road
A request came in from Town Administrative Officer Kate Buch through the parking authority at Town Hall to post no parking signs at Brook Street and Post Road.
Police said they see a fair amount of violations occurring in that area, which is near the Sugar Bowl. The signs would serve as a reminder to motorists that parking within 25 feet of a corner is a parking violation.
The Post Road is a state road and a request would need to be made to the State Traffic Administration to install a sign there, police said. The committee made a unanimous motion to send a letter to that commission, asking for additional no parking signs on U.S.-1, in front of the Sugar Bowl.
“That corner is problematic with people trying to traverse through there. Everybody wants to hang on that corner there, to run into the Sugar Bowl,” Anderson said.
No additional races at Pear Tree Point
After recently getting a request to have a new road race in the Pear Tree Point area, Capt. Anderson suggested putting a moratorium on any events in the Pear Tree Point, Long Neck Point area — above the six or seven that exist there already.
New races “would be impacting this area again,” he said. “People down there are all a little weary of all the activity. We have reached our fill for that area.”
Boy Scout Tag Sale
Police have recently met with the Boy Scouts, who have asked that the east side of Old Parish Road be posted with no parking signs through May 5. This motion was unanimously approved.
Police said this will keep the tag sale volunteers in the weeks leading up to sale from parking there and causing a traffic concern in the neighborhood. They also said this will keep some “peace” in the neighborhood.
Parking on Nutmeg Lane
A proposal was received from Planning & Zoning to put in some parking for the new track that’s being built around Darien High School.
They are looking to put in six total parking spaces off Nutmeg Lane, including one handicapped one.
This wouldn’t be parking “on Nutmeg Lane, but a cut in from the sidewalk so it won’t really be on a travel portion of the road,” Osborne said.
Police are looking for legal traffic authority input on this.
According to Osborne, the track, at 1.1 miles, goes through the woods and on the Diller property, which borders Nutmeg Lane. It’s mostly for the cross country team but it would also be open to the public except during school hours. The commission will review this and take that up at the next meeting
The police commissioners made a unanimous motion to approve the town’s 15th annual Push-n-Pull Parade on July 4.
They said this is a very orderly parade.
The Darien Police Department is taking applications for new officers at policeapp.com. The closing date is April 30.