Town officials this month upheld a $150 ticket issued to a Wilton woman who had parked in a space on Elm Street designated for disabled people.
Marie Donahue during her appeal hearing told members of the Parking Commission that a FedEx truck was parked next to the space, located in front of the Playhouse and designated only by a sign and not by blue paint in the street itself, when she pulled up on the morning of Dec. 28. “I passed the truck and the truck was apparently obstructing the handicapped sign,” she said during the Jan. 10 hearing, held at Town Hall. “So yes, I was parked there but I did not see the sign.
Saying the problem is most prevalent in front of Starbucks, town officials are seeking a new violation and $50 fine for those who park on a sidewalk in New Canaan. As it is, parking enforcement officers may issue a $30 fine under the category “Other” when motorists pull onto the Park Street sidewalk in front of Starbucks, according to Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg. But a dedicated violation and fine more along the lines of what motorists face when they park in a crosswalk ($75) would be preferable, Miltenberg told members of the Parking Commission at their meeting Thursday. “You know at Starbucks where they have the outside tables?” Miltenberg said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. “OK, you know the sidewalk in front of them?
Officials this month upheld a $30 ticket for a woman visiting family in New Canaan who had inadvertently parked in a loading zone on Forest Street. Jennifer Gubilaro told members of the Parking Commission at their most recent meeting that she had been going to Embody Fitness Gourmet for healthy drinks each morning, and found herself parking on either side of the street as close to the business as possible. Though she noticed the striping directly outside of Heritage Square, Gubilaro said during her appeal hearing, she only noticed the white lines on Forest Street designating the various parallel parking spaces and not the signage indicating a loading zone. “I just parked on the left and I looked on the street,” she said during the hearing, held at Town Hall. “I noticed those white things you park inside of and I thought it was a regular parking spot.”
It is, though for a few hours in the morning it’s a loading zone, according to a sign.
Town officials last week voided a $150 ticket issued to a man who parked in a handicapped space at the New Canaan Post Office though he had no such permit at the time. Gordon Thurber told members of the Parking Commission during a public hearing that he circled the Post Office three times trying to find a parking spot on the afternoon of Tuesday April 17 but “there wasn’t a place to park within three-quarters of a mile.”
Thurber needed to drop into the Post Office to file his taxes that day, and said he’s been unable to walk without crutches since having an accident (a hip replacement is needed, he said) “so I pulled into the handicapped spot” and “and less than five minutes later” there was a ticket on the windshield, he said at the May 10 appeal hearing, held in Town Hall. The ticket for parking illegally in a handicapped zone is by far the most severe in New Canaan and the commission in the past has never voided it, as a rule. Yet in this case, Chairman Keith Richey and Commissioners Stuart Stringfellow and Chris Hering voted to void. Commissioners Pam Crum and Peter Ogilvie voted to uphold, making it a 3-2 vote in Thurber’s favor.
Town officials last week voted 3-2 to uphold a $30 ticket for a man who admitted that he parked in a designated loading zone but said it was an honest mistake and he didn’t know about the rule there. Bob Landeck identified himself to members of the Parking Commission as a town resident for 22 years, and said he had parked out front of the former Thali building on Main Street on a Saturday to run into the People’s Bank for a few minutes. “I went to use the ATM machine and when I got back, he wrote me up,” Landeck told the Commission during a May 10 hearing on the ticket, held at Town Hall. “Now I think since it’s a brand new sign, I think maybe they should put a yellow thing on the curb, because now i notice the sign, but I did not notice a sign when I parked there.”
Ultimately, Commissioners Pam Crum, Chris Hering and Peter Ogilvie voted to uphold the ticket, while Chairman Keith Richey and Stuart Stringfellow voted to void. During deliberations, Ogilvie said: “I think all parking violations are honest mistakes and that is what [Parking Manager] Stacy [Miltenberg] makes her business out of.”
He added: “It’s not as though the sign was hiding behind something.”
Crum said: “There was no reason not to see it.”
The area directly in front of Thali, or the old “bank building” as many New Canaanites know it, has been a designated loading zone for more than two years.