Officials on Thursday upheld a $30 ticket issued to a woman who had pulled into a no-parking area when faced with construction traffic downtown in order to run into a bank.
The woman appealed her ticket in person before the Parking Commission during a special meeting in the Town Meeting Room.
At 1:44 p.m. on Sept. 2, the woman said during her appeal hearing, she came to a stop while traveling west on Main Street, opposite New Canaan Library. Three construction laborers working around the corner on Cherry Street had walked into the road, holding up traffic and preventing the woman from turning right onto Cherry and into the parking lot of Wells Fargo Bank—her destination, she said.
“So that is when I decided well, I am right here at the bank, I’m not going anywhere, and I put on my flashers and ran into the bank and made a deposit and when I came back out, the woman had already started writing me the ticket,” she told the Parking Commission.
The group’s chairman, Keith Richey, asked with a smile: “And did you congratulate the parking official for giving you a ticket?”
The woman—whose written parking ticket appeal can be found in this bunch—responded that she did not.
“I don’t get tickets,” she said. “I don’t have any tickets. I have probably never had a ticket … And I am not looking to start having tickets. I’m not looking to start a life of crime. So and I would like relief from that $30, because that is the consequence.”
Commissioner Pamela Crum asked whether the woman happened to notice a “No Parking Any Time” sign (see photo above) posted right next to where she parked her car (no) and commissioner Peter Ogilvie asked whether she noticed the “big yellow strips” she had pulled onto (no).
Commissioner Rick Franco said he did not believe the road was completely blocked off at that intersection.
“I am on that road numerous times a day, and I have never noticed it completely closed,” Franco said. “And the other troubling factor fact is that I would venture to say that Main Street right there is the most narrow road in town. I think it is more narrow than the road over by the old Post Office that is now Mrs. Green’s, and they eliminated those parking spaces number of years ago, and more narrow by library, so I am a little uncomfortable with [the ticketed woman’s] situation.”
Asked by Crum whether she had been running late or was in a special hurry, the woman said: “I was going somewhere but I wasn’t in a hurry per se.”
Ogilvie asked whether she considered driving straight through the light, then turning right onto Burtis, right onto Cherry and up around to the Wells Fargo lot?
“No, I didn’t consider going any further because we weren’t going anywhere,” the woman responded. “There wasn’t any ‘going’ at that moment.”
Ogilvie apparently was unconvinced, for during the commission’s discussion on whether to void or uphold the ticket, he said: “I was on that intersection that day. There was construction and they were closing it off. I do not disbelieve her story, but that doesn’t mean she can just park on the yellow stripes. She could have gone up Burtis to Cherry.”
The commission voted 5-0 to uphold.