BOS twice turned down by state
NORTH CANAAN — Two requests made to state agencies by the Board of Selectmen on behalf of a local business and a local nonprofit were denied.Discussed at the Feb. 6 selectmen’s meeting was the denial of an application for a $200,000 STEAP (Small Town Economic Assistance) grant toward the Canaan Union Station renovation. “We qualified but we didn’t get it,” First Selectman Douglas Humes said. “There were 184 applicants and $49 million requested from a fund capped at $20 million. Only 61 projects were funded.”The town will try again in June. It received $200,000 last year that was applied toward the 20 percent in local funding or in-kind services needed toward the $2.3 million-plus project.A request to eliminate a passing zone on Route 7 South was denied by the state Department of Transportation (DOT). The town sought the change at the request of Mountainside Addiction Treatment Facility. Humes said he believed there were issues with the southbound passing lane and vehicles pulling in and out of driveways at Mountainside.An investigative report issued by the DOT concluded that not only is the passing lane safe, in terms of its length and line of sight, but it could be lengthened to meet the average speed of vehicles.The report cited the last traffic study there, done in 2009. Average daily traffic volume was 3,400 vehicles. The average speed was 51mph in the 45mph zone. There have been no accidents there in the past three years related to passing maneuvers. “It is not the practice of the DOT to eliminate passing zones for the presence of businesses and private driveways,” the report, signed by the DOT commissioner, stated. “Drivers exiting and entering driveways need to exercise caution.”It also noted that removing zones encourages drivers to pass in no passing zones they perceive to be safe but are not, and that passing zones are to be used only for passing vehicles traveling below the speed limit.