As part of the planning phase of the I-84 Danbury Project, the project team released a Needs and Deficiencies Report. It identifies several deficiencies in the corridor including considerable traffic congestion.
The ramps contribute to many of the congestion and safety problems in the corridor, according to the report. They are closely spaced and some use the same lane for entering and exiting traffic, which causes weaving. Another problem identified in the report is the incomplete interchange at Exit 6, which does not allow sufficient access to Danbury Hospital, a major regional employer.
A lot of congestion happens near the Route 7 merge, so that roadway was also examined.
The report determined that I-84 itself has substandard geometry. In many areas, the curvature of the roadway does not provide drivers adequate sight lines, especially for slowing and stopping. The steep grades prohibit large trucks from reaching their desired speeds in many areas.
A goal is also to find a set of solutions to address broader issues including the lack of travel demand management programs like commuter parking, carpool, vanpool and other employer driven opportunities within the region.
The Still River Greenway extension project through the Brookfield Town hall campus is moving forward. Town officials received a letter with the commitment to fund the work from the state, and the required environmental screening. Next steps include working with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to ensure there are no endangered or threatened species in the area of construction. This project will include a half mile extension to the already existing greenway with more parking, Americans for Disability Act compliance, and a small picnic area.
The Bethel Police Department Car Seat Unit will be holding a car seat clinic on Sunday August 25th. The clinic will be held at the Stony Hill Fire Department, by appointment only. People needing help installing a car seat, or want to have their installation checked, should visit the Bethel Police Car Seat Unit page to make an appointment.
Today is move-in day for West Conn freshmen and transfers students. The university is welcoming the class of 2023. First year and transfer students were assigned a West Conn email address and sent information about specific move-in times. With students moving into dorms to start another semester, the Danbury Fire Department is offering some College Campus Fire Safety Tips from the National Fire Protection Association and the Danbury Fire Marshal's Office. These include making sure the dorm room has a smoke alarm, or suites have a smoke alarm in each living area as well as the sleeping room. For the best protection, all smoke alarms in the dormitory suite should be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound. Students living in houses off campus should make sure smoke alarms are installed in each sleeping room, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the house.
Water Witch Hose fire company of New Milford has taken delivery of their Pierce Velocity Tower Ladder. The apparatus was backed into it’s bay at the Prospect Hill Firehouse for the first time yesterday afternoon. The company spent the evening checking out the truck and all the equipment that’s been installed over the past few weeks and today begins training with the Pierce factory reps. Over the next three days, operators will be learning about the rig with the men who designed and built it.
New Fairfield Library is hosting an Historical D-Day Display. The tribute highlights Joseph Letizia and his participation in D-Day. The U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class was with the 1st Naval Amphibious Forces, which was part of the 3rd wave to land on Utah Beach on June 6th 1944. Letizia is a long time New Fairfield resident and active in the Veteran’s Association and a member of the Zoning Commission. The display also contains an WWII Army Uniform, a 1st Naval Amphibious Forces uniform, and other items of interest about Letizia and D-Day.
The Democratic candidate for Mayor in Danbury is calling on the Republican incumbent to sign a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors on national gun safety legislation. Challenger Chris Setaro say he supports the call for action, and the implementation of universal background checks.
Mark Boughton, as the incumbent is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and said he would read the letter and review two background check bills awaiting U.S. Senate action.
Setaro says Connecticut's laws are a model for the nation that Congress should adopt. He added that this is no time for leaders to be silent.
The two background check bills which passed the U.S. House would require all firearm purchases to undergo a NICS background check and prohibit unlicensed transfers of guns through unregulated secondary sales.
A traffic engineer, who is also the I-84 Danbury Project Manager, recently took a couple of helicopter rides over the highway to see where traffic congestion is the biggest issue. The team was surprised to see that there was only one pinch point area in the morning, but the whole corridor gets bad in the evening. Sharat Kalluri called it eye-catching that the evening commute was broadly and consistently difficult from the New York State line to Exit 7. No surprise to local motorists, that's over seven miles of congestion. The flight videos were presented to the Project Advisory Committee recently and are available on the project website.
A Stamford man, currently living in a Bethel hotel, has been arrested by police on an outstanding warrant. While conducting a routine traffic stop last week, Bethel Police learned that 30-year old Andrew Coke was living at the Howard Johnson Hotel. He was arrested on drug possession charges in 2017, but failed to appear in court and a re-arrest warrant was issued. Detectives saw Coke leave the hotel last Thursday and get into an UBER, and stopped him. Coke was then turned over to Danbury Police, who also had a warrant for his arrest.
A local lawmaker is touting a bill signed into law by the Governor this summer. Danbury Representative David Arconti says the bill is about Epi Pens and similar injectors. In the fall of 2016 a constituent, Christina Ilardi, reached out with an idea to increase access to these devices to address life threatening reactions to food allergies. Arconti says this is a great example of how representative government works for the people.
If a person has received specified training and acts with reasonable care, the bill allows them to administer epinephrine auto injectors to someone experiencing an allergic reaction. The bill also grants these individuals civil and criminal liability immunity if they act with reasonable care.
Additionally, the bill allows prescribing practitioners to issue standing order prescriptions for EpiPens to individuals who do not necessarily need them, and it allows pharmacists to dispense them. Previous to this law, in Connecticut you could only get an Epipen with a prescription from a doctor. Public places, like restaurants and sports arenas, can only stock up if they have permission from a doctor.
New Milford students return to class on Tuesday August 27th. New Milford Police say they will have officers out in force before and after the school day to strictly enforce the rules of the roads. With school buses back on their routes, police are reminding drivers to stop for flashing lights and to not pass stopped buses.
The first day of school for many other students in the Greater Danbury area is next week and Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company is reminding motorists about school bus laws and safety. Drivers following or approaching a bus should stop 10 to 20 feet from it when it’s red lights are flashing.
Motorists should not pass a bus until the lights are off. Drivers should keep an eye out for children crossing in front of the bus and potentially after the bus drives away.
Fines for passing a school bus that has its flashing red warning lights activated starts at $465 for a first offense. Repeat offenders will have another fine of $500 to $1,000 and face up to 30 days in jail.
A Brookfield resident has raised concerns with town officials about Brooks Quarry. The elderly affordable independent living housing complex is owned by the Brookfield Housing Authority. It consists of nine ranch style cottages on 16 acres off Laurel Hill Road. Residents must be at least 62 years old or designated as disabled by the Social Security Administration.
First Selectman Steve Dunn says the town has two Small Cities Grants. One was for $400,000 and all of the money has been loaned out. He thought there was additional need since a lot of people showed up looking for assistance. The town then got a second $400,000. In the last 18 months, Dunn says they've been unable to find anyone who qualifies under income guidelines and the house not being underwater on the mortgage.
Brookfield still has about $300,000, and they want to ask the state to give that money to Brooks Quarry. He's not sure they can legally do that. Dunn noted that the town paid for half the paving done last year and contributes as much as it legally can, but it's a separate legal entity and not part of the town of Brookfield.
A Newtown man camping on an office building's property in Bethel has been charged with criminal trespass. Bethel Police responded to 24 Stony Hill Road last week on a report of a man at the rear of the building, who had previously been told not to return to the property. William Garrison Jacobs Jr. was issued a misdemeanor summons. He was released on a written promise to appear in court on Tuesday.
While investigating a disturbance in the front parking lot of the Target in Bethel, Police arrested a man who had two outstanding warrants. Bethel Police responded to the store on Sunday. The charged 26-year old Miguel Lizardi of Bethel with two counts of failure to appear. He was held for arraignment.
An FDNY Lieutenant has led a seminar for Bethel and area firefighters. The class was hosted by Bethel Fire & EMS last night at Bethel High School and taught by Ray McCormack. Members of fire departments across the state learned about Engine Operations in the Modern Fire Environment. Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company officials say the Engine Company is the workhorse of the fire department and is responsible for getting water on the fire. While it sounds like a simple concept, they say there is a lot of science, technology, and muscle needed to get the job done. Controlling and extinguishing the fire is job #1.
It was a tough commute last night for Metro North riders. All three of the main lines were running with delays because of switch issues in Harlem. The Danbury branch was delayed because of late-arrive equipment. Shortly before 11pm, Danbury Branch service was delayed due to a vehicle on the tracks near Redding. At least one train from Danbury to South Norwalk was operating 45 to 50 minutes late. The train headed from South Norwalk to Danbury only had delays of about 20 to 25 minutes. Metro North reported Danbury Branch service was back operating on or close to schedule around 12:45am.
The Danbury Fire Department has gotten an update from raptor rehabilitation center Christine's Critters about an injured red tailed hawk rescued from city streets. The hawk was taken to South Wilton Vet Group where doctors determined that she has a fracture in her wing. They are hopeful that it will heal and she can return to flight. The hawk was found by a passerby and brought to Danbury Fire Headquarters, wrapped in the man's suit jacket. Firefighters removed the large, aggravated hawk and placed it in a makeshift carrier. Danbury Police arranged to have an Animal Control Officer take the injured bird to Weston.
A final revision to New Fairfield's Short Term Rental Regulation has been posted on the town's website. An amendment to Zoning Regulations allows Short Term Rentals, provided that the leasing or use of a residential site by someone other than the title owner, is for six days or less. Other requirements include issuance of Zoning Permit based on a site plan approved by the New Fairfield Zoning Commission. The permit is $500 for 24 months. The property owner must be in residence on the property or an abutting property. A certificate of Insurance for the Proposed Use must be obtained. Occupancy is limited to 2 people per bedroom.