‘I Was Helping My Elderly, Unwell Mother’: 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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Sometimes the ladies and gentlemen who receive parking tickets leave instructions for enforcement officers when they pay them.

“On August 1, 2017 at 9:46 a.m. I received a ticket #3020001183 on my car. A few things occurred that I would like to bring your attention to: 1. The ticket was folded and tucked deep into the front hood space – (also this was the first day that I drove this new car). 2. The space that I occupied for five minutes maximum as I ran across the street into Starbucks was evidentially a loading zone at that time. I was unaware of this as there are two large flower baskets hanging on both posts partially blocking the signs. (I have a photo of the front sign as I went back later in the day to see why I had received a ticket that am.) I was a long time, 20 plus year resident of NC, and love the town and appreciate the ease of town parking. I am also a member of the NC Beautification League – the organization that supplies the hanging planters. It is a beautiful touch to enhance our downtown area, however, once these plants grow, they can not block signage. Please consider forgiving me this ticket at this time, and I will also speak with the NCBL about more appropriate locations to place the baskets. Perhaps whomever from the town is watering and maintaining the baskets needs to make sure that the flowers and plantings are not blocking important signage. Thank you for considering my request at this time.”

—$30 for loading zone on Elm Street at 9:46 a.m. on Aug. 1

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Creative parking on Main Street. MS photo

“I PARKED BETWEEN 2 CARS THAT WERE ALREADY PARKED. THEY WERE OFF. BUT I DIDN’T REALIZE. I SIMPLY PULLED INTO THE SPOT THAT WAS AVAILABLE. ONLY WHEN THE OTHER CARS LEFT WAS IT EVIDENT THAT MY CAR WAS OFF, AS I COULD SEE THE LINES THEN.”

—$30 for obstructing two spaces in Morse Court, at 9:48 a.m. on Aug. 22

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A downtown employee parked here on a crosswalk on Elm Street, and is appealing the ticket.

“I am paying above fine but am very upset by it. I work at Elm Street Books and was returning from an author event (in which I had to return 5 cartons of books w/ push cart to the store + drop off paperwork) I then returned to my car to leave immediately. In the past I have double parked in front of the store with my blinkers on + told by the parking person that that is not allowed. I am 5 feet + not able to transport books w/ pull cart from a municipal lot to the store. I make 13.00 an hour + was at an author event for 3 hours so the ticket surpasses all I made for that day + even the next. I would like you to reconsider what we as employees should do when bringing things in + out of stores.”

—$75 for blocking crosswalk

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This vehicle is straddling a line separating two spaces, visible under the car. The motorist was ticketed for obstructing two spaces and attached this sticky note on paying the ticket saying “Picky Picky.”

“I am appealing this parking violation not because of the fee, but out of principle. My car was parked in the FREE charging station space that is provided across Spiga to charge my plug-in Hyundia Sonata. I have only once before used this space, as I mostly charge my car overnight at home. I didn’t receive a citation then, and didn’t expect to receive one now. It clearly states that the space is provided for such EV vehicles, and all others will be towed. That sign implies, at least to me, that as long as you’re parking for its use one doesn’t need to pay additionally for the space. I’m hopeful the officer targeted my car by mistake, and didn’t realize I was parked in such lot. As a new EV owner, and very proud of my decision to reduce my carbon foot print, I am still trying to grasp with the idea of plugging in my car. I have no problem complying with stated rules, but getting this ticket brought up the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ I’m more than happy to pay for the charge, and I can assure you that the charge wouldn’t be $25. It probably should be one or the other? I’m sure my appeal from an EV owner with a similar situation isn’t the first. My only hope is that the committee considers a few things in this rapidly changing EV world. A) installing more charging stations to keep up with demand – pay or free. B) Install proper signage to pay for space, if that is the case.”

—$25 for unpaid space in Morse Court at 10:13 a.m. on Aug. 8

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“Pulled onto Elm St and looked right to insure no cars coming – pulled into L last parking spot (no signage visualized) – opened driver door + rear doors to get 2 young children + senior citizen parents out of vehicle – did note a ‘cement’ structure with no signage on it – walked to the lift and crossed street and did not see any signage facing our way … went to movie and came out to find ticket.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Elm Street at 12:38 p.m. on June 26

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“I was helping my elderly, unwell mother walk from the sidewalk into People’s Bank while I parked in a space that extended a very little way into the crosswalk. She felt weak and I stayed with her for the few minutes were there and came to find this ticket. I would appreciate a waiver of the fee or rate reduction as I felt I had no choice but to assist her for those few minutes.”

—$75 for obstructing crosswalk on Main Street, at 2:10 p.m. on Aug. 23

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“I was parked in Morse Court by the sidewalk. There were 2 signs. One 15 minute parking the other 15 minute parking before this sign. Another sign said temporary loading zone. But no sign that said no parking. It was very confusing and not explained well. I feel I should be pardoned for this ticket.”

—Loading zone on Aug. 30

 

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“My wife and I have lived in Westport for 14 years and raised our son here. The only time I have been in New Canaan is to bring my son to Dr Flynn and New Canaan pediatrics. A patient of mine asked if I would like to meet for lunch at Spiga, on Main Street. I thought it would be nice to patronize one of your restaurants and I parked in the lot across the way. Other that train station parking, we have no paid parking in Westport that I am aware of. It never even entered my mind and I saw no obvious signage that stated you ‘pay to park.’ We finished our wonderful meal and I walked back to my car and discovered this ticket under my windshield wiper. As you can imagine, I was shocked and dismayed. If there was a large obvious sign that was visible I surely would have paid the small amount required and not have risked a $25 ticket.”

—$25 for unpaid space at Morse Court, at 12:43 p.m. on Aug. 4

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“I have been informed to write this letter as per my request for a reduction of fees or dismissal of fees incurred in two tickets on 7/22/17. Because the weekend prior, on Saturday the sidewalk sale created an influx of parking making the locust lot where I normally pay to park impossible to park in. I was 15 minutes late for work that day because I was circling for a spot and eventually found one on the street. On my way in last Saturday I noticed elm street was blocked off and I saw police directing traffic by CVS so I assumed there was another weekend event. I parked on Main Street right outside work and my co worker told me that he heard parking was free in the summer on weekends because of the ‘strolls’ and sidewalk sales. Now, I realize that was a misunderstanding, but I wasn’t malisciously parking there, it was an accident based on a misunderstanding. I don’t wish to pay more than I made at work that day because of it. Please understand I pay every day and I’m honestly sorry.”

—$25 and $40 for overtime parking and second violation on Main Street, starting at 1:28 p.m. on July 22

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This is where this guy parked, right behind the Mobil.

“I would like to appeal this parking ticket. We attended the sidewalk sale on Sat 7/15/17. We pulled into parking lot and saw a ton of parked cars along wall on right side. At the end, a NC town truck was leaving its parking spot, so we pulled in and parked there. We did not see any ‘no parking sign’ in this location (see photo). When walking to sale, we saw ‘no parking’ sign about 3 cars from where we parked. I saw NC police officer if we are OK in this location. The police officer said they are NOT ticketing today. So we were surprised to find ticket on our car when we returned. We are not familiar with this parking lot—1st time there, so NO sign near where we parked (as seen in photo) but sign a few cars away (somewhat confusing) of who this applies to, especially since New Canaan town truck was previously parked there.”

—$30 for no parking zone in Morse court at 12:01 p.m. on July 15

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“I parked in town lot for an hour to watch Arts for Healing at Pop Up Park. As I was leaving, I ran into a friend who I spoke with for 5 minutes. Upon returning to my car I found a ticket issued at 3:39 – I was 9 minutes overdue. I asked the parking meter lady. She said appeal it – out of her scope. Seems like a 10 minute grace period is a reasonable approach.”

—$25 for unpaid space in Morse Court at 3:39 p.m. on July 18

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“I work at Gelatissimo on Forest St and there was no where else to park but on the street and I was running late to my shift. I parked on the street right before my shift, and had planed to move my car as soon as I could, but I was the only employee present until right before 2 pm when I was finally able to go and move my car. But I saw I had already received a ticket about 15 minutes prior. I moved my car anyways, but this ticket equals the amount of money I make in a shift pretty much. This is the first time I’d ever parked on the street for a shift.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Forest Street at 1:29 p.m. on Aug. 10

One thought on “‘I Was Helping My Elderly, Unwell Mother’: Parking Ticket Appeals

  1. “Sometimes the ladies and gentlemen who receive parking tickets leave instructions for enforcement officers when they pay them.”
    LOL

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