‘Chronic’ New Canaan Parking Violators Are Downtown Workers



This may be common knowledge to many downtown workers, but it was news to me: Motorists employed in offices and shops downtown are New Canaan’s consistent, even “chronic” parking violators, officials say.

At least one member of the municipal body that oversees parking matters for New Canaan, Parking Commission Secretary Rick Franco, talks about targeting what he calls the “chronic violators” group.

Recently ticketed vehicles on Elm Street in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

Recently ticketed vehicles on Elm Street in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

“What you have to do is put bulls-eyes on the backs of the chronic violators, the guys that just think of themselves and themselves only,” Franco said during the commission’s Feb. 27 meeting at Lapham Community Center.

“They are not thinking about the people they work for, the people that are their neighbors on either side of them,” added Franco, whose downtown wine shop has been an Elm Street fixture for decades. “They’re just thinking, ‘I have what I want.’ That makes me uncomfortable with parking and other societal matters.”

In reviewing the arguments and appeals of recently ticketed downtown parking violators, the commission discussed and debated excuses and explanations from workers at retail shops such as Ralph Lauren, service providers and private businesspeople based downtown. Those included physical ailments, forgetfulness and the inability to see parking space numbers because of recent snow storms.

“It’s a kind of snow-day excuse,” commission Chair Keith Richey said of the last.

In all cases and despite counter-arguments from some, the commission in nearly all cases upheld a “presumption of innocence” principle and voided some tickets for multiple offenders.

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