‘I Only Parked That Way To Pick Up a Pair of Shoes from the Cobbler’: Parking Ticket Appeals

What follows are excerpts from parking ticket appeals letters filed recently with the New Canaan Parking Bureau. Where available, we’ve included information on the violation for which these people were cited, in what amount, and where and when the violation occurred. We preserve spelling, capital letters and punctuation as written by the appellant.

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“We needed to park in the shade due to medicine in car needing to be kept cool. The car next to us was parked diagonally over our line so we needed to park further to the right, thereby crossing the right-side line.”

—$30 for obstructing two spaces in Morse Court at 10:18 a.m. on July 21

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“A TRUCK WAS BLOCKING THE SIGN, I PARKED BEHIND THE TRUCK, I NEVER SAW THE SIGN. I HAVE A PITCURE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. I NEVER WOULD HAVE PARKED THERE IF I SAW THE SIGN. I WAS BUYING MUFFINS.”

—$30 for loading zone on Main Street at 10:23 a.m. on June 14

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“When the mark on my tire was made I was not ‘parked’ I was pulled over, sitting in my running car, foot on break – not even in park – deciding whether to deal w/ my return @ J Crew. I was surprised the officer marked my tire and almost said something. I remained in the cart then I executed one return. It took 10 minutes at best. I noted the time when I pulled over to be 10:22. I remained in the car for at least 6 minutes on speaker phone. Ticket issued at 10:40. The sign says ‘No Parking beyond 15 minutes’! It does not mention ‘standing.’ Car w/person in/not in park is ‘standing.’ It also notes my car as an ‘Acura.’ It is not. It is a Mazda. I have paid tickets when I have been in the wrong. This is not the case this time. Thank you.”

—$25 for overtime parking at Morse Court, at 10:40 a.m. at July 17

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“I only parked that way to pick up a pair of shoes from the cobbler. The street was clear of traffic from the opposite lane and I parked my car with the hazard lights on. I was in and out of the shop within 3 mins of parking. I would like to request a warning instead of a citation for this first time offense.”

—$50 for parking wrong side on Cross Street at 10:02 a.m. on July 13

This car is obviously afraid of the hanging basket. Credit: Michael Dinan

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“Parked on Cherry St @ 12:45p and received a ticket by 12:56p. Cherry is 2 hr pkg. There was another red honda CRV behind me, so maybe they mixed up the cars.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Cherry Street at 12:56 p.m. on July 20

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“I received the enclosed ticket on Monday June 5th. That day I was meeting with [a town official] at Kaahve Coffee Shop at 96 Main Street from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. At that time of morning I could have parked anywhere on the street as their were unlimited open parking spaces. I chose to park in front of 90 Main Street, where the old Post Office temporary location used to be. I was fully aware that where I parked was a loading zone while the Post Office was located at 90 min. However, once the Post Office opened its new location at 18 Locust Ave., I did not believe the spaces in front of 90 Main remained loading zone spaces. Like I said I could have parked anywhere for my meeting with [the town official], I did not realize I was in any violation.”

—$30 for loading zone on Main Street at 9:55 a.m. on June 5

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“If you could be so kind to remove this ticket I would greatly appreciate it. Badge #305 could have giving me the opportunity to move my car before issuing a ticket. Thank you very much.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Cherry Street at 2:28 p.m. on June 30

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“I dispute this ticket as there is no space 99 on the pavement (photo attached of location of my car yesterday). Your ticket further indicates this as there is no automated space number printed just a handwritten number of 99. There is a space 100 nearby next to the handicap parking space. How can an officer issue a ticket when there is no space written on the pavement?”

—unpaid space for Park Street

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“I am appealing this citation for the following reasons. 1. Signs tell us that we can park between the signs without putting money in the meter—for 15 mins—anywhere. 2. Signs—tell me that temporary loading (I thought brief time – like 15 mins) zone meant those trucks were limited to the space between the 2 signs. I thought that a car could park between the signs — as usual – but that temp loading zones were restricted to the area.”

—$30 for loading zone on Morse Court at 12:45 p.m. on July 21

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“This letter serves as written notice of my intent to appeal the parking ticket that I received at the railroad lot on June 26, 2017. On that morning, I paid $5 in cash in the parking machine on the east side of the train platform. The machine took my $5, did not provide a receipt, and proceeded to the start-up screen for the next transaction, which did occur in the normal fashion. While I did not take down names of witnesses, there were 3 people on line at the machine who saw what happened. The evidence that I paid without receiving credit would be obtained in reconciliation of the cash/credit car receipts to the aggregate credit given for parking that day. I am certain if this reconciliation were done, it would prove that I paid cash but did not receive credit. I have been parking at the railroad station since I moved to New Canaan in 2009 on average 2-3 days per week and have received only one other citation, which occurred as a result of my error in punching in the wrong space. It would not fit a logical pattern that I would attempt, on that day, to avoid paying for parking.”

—$30 for unpaid space at Railroad Lot, 11:23 a.m. on June 26

4 thoughts on “‘I Only Parked That Way To Pick Up a Pair of Shoes from the Cobbler’: Parking Ticket Appeals

  1. It amazes me that we have come to the point where shaming people for parking violations is considered town news. Combine that with today’s article on distracted driving stoppages and it is pretty clear that the nanny state is alive an well here in New Canaan. I’m waiting for the hard hitting article entitled “Jaywalking arrests up 42%” or the always provocative “6 dogs cited for having no tags.” Surely we can do better. How about we figure out how to get more businesses into town instead of reporting on their closure, or discuss the ramifications of a change in the guard of the Republican Party and what that is likely to mean for the budget? We are all fortunate to live in a beautiful town with great neighbors. Why would we spend even 1 second on petty items.

    • Harry, Thank you for submitting your comment. To address some of the points you’ve raised, I’ll say first that if our interest in publishing the parking ticket appeals was to shame people then we would publish the names of those who write them, which we do not. The color and variety of these appeals letters speaks not only to the difficulties of parking in downtown New Canaan for many, but also the tone with which some who visit the town address its enforcement officers. I am always happy to hear from readers who have ideas for articles, though I would caution you that what you describe as ‘petty’ may well be newsworthy to your neighbors and fellow community members. We will continue to report news, both good and unwelcome, as it comes in—and that includes when businesses close. To withhold such news from our readers would violate the responsibility with which we are entrusted. I will add that we balance our reporting with full feature stories on new businesses in New Canaan whenever we come across such enterprises. Thank you again.

  2. I moved from Winnetka, Illinois that has a similar town feel as New Canaan. In the New Canaan there’s so many small businesses , restaurants, boutiques that are trying to compete with the larger retail big box stores, the internet yet they are creating the fabric of the town with their small business, employing people and generally keeping the town a town. This is the same of the small stores in Winnetka. In Winnetka, to support these stores that are paying high rents, to encourage local shopping and dining- there is free parking. We were very surprised to see how little free parking there is in New Canaan and wondered does charging for parking impact the shop owners badly when people just avoid the ever present parking hassle and go elsewhere?? Did New Canaan always charge for parking?

  3. New Canaan may be distinguishable from Winnetka, Illinois because if there were no time limits and charges, people from all over would park in town and take the train to New York City. There would be no parking available for customers.

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