Officials said last week that they’ve re-designated 12 parking spaces in metered lots downtown for disabled motorists following an anonymous complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The town had been “deficient in number,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann said, and quickly addressed the problem by installing three disabled spaces in Morse Court, six in Locust Avenue Lot and three in Park Street Lot.
“We had someone contact the Department of Justice and they came down and said that we needed to amend our number of handicapped spaces in three separate parking lots,” Mann told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting, held Oct. 16 at the New Canaan Police Department.
The complaint “fell on the heels pretty much right after the original thing for Main Street,” he said, referring to a complaint that had been made to the state that could see New Canaan lose even more parking spaces near crosswalks. The town appears to be “targeted,” Mann said.
Asked by Police Commissioner Paul Foley how the number of required disabled spaces is calculated, Mann said “it’s a ratio” that’s based, largely, on how many total spaces are in a lot. Officials at the meeting also said the lots were reconfigured based on minimum requirements under state law for clearances between parked vehicles in disabled spaces.
The commissioners asked Mann why the federal agency was contacted regarding the disabled spaces (because it’s part of ADA), and whether the complaint was made anonymously (yes).
The discussion arose during a presentation from a transportation consultant regarding possible changes to parking and crosswalks on Main Street. Regarding Morse Court, the consultant said his firm is recommending that New Canaan run a double-yellow line down the access way to establish it as a street, and to have the curb-side parking face in one direction only (toward South Avenue).