‘I Have a Broken Ankle’: 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 all capital letters and punctuation as written by the appellant.

Botched parking job on Forest Street. MW photo

Botched parking job on Forest Street. MW photo


“I respectfully wish to appeal this ticket as I believe it was issued in error. I had parked along Main Street in a 90-minute spot just prior to 11 a.m. on 7/13. I know the time because my teenage son had an appointment at [a spa] at 11 a.m. and we were right on time. We returned to the car within the 90-minute window to leave. Sadly, the attendant informed me that the ticket ‘had already printed.’ I arrived at 10:55 a.m. and the ticket was printed at 12:21 while I was standing there. This seems a little aggressive for a 90-minute zone. Also, there was no attendant near where I parked the car, which means they had to come by after 11 a.m. Please consider voiding this ticket.”

—$20 for overtime parking on Main Street at 12:21 p.m. on July 13

Parked in a Main Street crosswalk. MW photo

Parked in a Main Street crosswalk. MW photo


“I originally came to visit New Canaan and have a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I arrived early, approx 6 AM and it was still somewhat dark and a humid dismal morning. I did not see many cars parked near the Starbucks and I chose a spot under a tree, debating whether or not to take a train ride into Stamford. I did not see the time limit parking sign (even though, after I got back from Stamford, I did see the sign nearby—after I saw the tickets on my car). Thanks for hearing my appeal.”

—$20, $30 and $40 for overtime parking on Elm Street at 11:19 a.m., second violation at 12:58 p.m. and third violation/other at 2:55 p.m. on July 14

Not a parking space, on Elm Street. MW photo

Not a parking space, on Elm Street. MW photo


“Other guy parked funny … No other spaces!”

—$30 for obstructing two spaces in Morse Court at 11:34 a.m. on June 22


“On June 28, 2016, I parked in the Main Street lot in New Canaan. Parked next to me was a large SUV which was encroaching on my space, space #5. Having been in this parking lot before, and having seen it completely full, I decided to park next to this car even though there were other spaces available. I felt that since I was going to an early lunch and I had a small car I should park close to this big car to enable an empty, larger space, should the lot fill up. I did not notice I was over the line in doing this. I certainly could have parked in a number of closer spots. Again, I thought I was being considerate. Instead, I come out with a ticket. The person I was having lunch with, went to her car and could not enter her car due to the fact that another very large SUV was in the space next to her and she could not open the door. While the car was within the lines no ticket for that car, but we had to wait some time until the person returned and pulled out so she could get into the vehicle. I share this second story to indicate as a New Canaan consumer I believe I should have gotten a warning. I will be appealing this ticket.”

—$30 for obstructing two spaces on Morse Court at 12:58 p.m. on June 28

"Don't worry. We can walk to the curb from here." —Woody Allen, "Annie Hall" (Credit: Michael Dinan)

“Don’t worry. We can walk to the curb from here.” —Woody Allen, “Annie Hall” (Credit: Michael Dinan)


“Hi! I had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien that morning and ran back inside to use the bathroom. When I came out [a parking enforcement officer] was walking toward my car saying she wished she hadn’t pressed print or had walked toward my car with her ticketing device in hand because three seconds earlier I would not have had a ticket and she couldn’t void it once she had hit print. She said to go to the parking commission office on Tuesday and she would verify that it had literally been three seconds. I also should have known but was unaware that the 90-minute parking applied to Saturdays. I thought it was only Monday-Friday. I’m sorry about that and I am happy this ticket can be waived. Thank you so much!”

—$20 for overtime parking on Elm Street at 11:36 a.m. on July 28, 16


“My husband was parked on Main Street outside CT Muffin. I have a broken ankle and am unable to drive. He put his hazards on and stayed in car while I ran to pay for an item. He was double parked, which in normal circumstances is illegal however, HE NEVER LEFT THE CAR. I was gone for no more than 3 minutes and a parking officer pulled up behind him and issued a ticket. She stated that the ticket could not be reversed since it was already written, and stated that we could reverse the ticket and speak to the town. I think in the future, the parking officers need to check the car to see if someone is in the driver’s seat. Maybe the driver is waiting for a handicapped person or an elderly resident. In my circumstance, walking is quite difficult and uncomfortable and my husband was waiting for me outside a store I needed to go to so I did not have to walk far. I understand the town makes money from tickets, and when I am in the wrong I will gladly pay. However, in this circumstance I feel the ticket is unwarranted and unfair. Please reverse the fine and ticket on our vehicle.”

—$30 for no parking zone on Main Street at 1:27 p.m. on July 12


“I was issued this ticket while stopped (in the drivers seat with the car running) at the intersection of Main Street and East Ave. I have no idea why I got this ticket as my car was NOT parked. I was on my way to take my daughter to camp at the Performing Arts Conservatory on Pine Street. This was her second day of camp and I made a wrong turn off of 124 and was trying to figure out the best way to get to Pine Street. As I was about to turn right on East Ave., I saw a woman approaching the car. I opened the window at which point she handed me the ticket and said, ‘Oh, I didn’t see you in the car through your tinted windows.’ ”

—$30 for no parking zone on Main Street at 1:40 p.m. on July 6


“I pulled over for a safety reason (I just bought my car on Friday and the dashboard kept beeping). I pulled over into a handicapped access area. I was by no means in the handicapped space. I also had my hazards on. The officer gave me the ticket and walked away.”

—$200 for handicapped zone on Elm Street at 10:19 a.m. on July 20


“I am appealing this ticket since it is wrongful. I originally parked my car directly in front of 140 Elm Street, New Canaan at exactly 9 a.m. I brought my son to a doctor appointment, I left him there, and then went shopping with my daughter in town. At 10:25 a.m., I returned to my car and drove around the block, since I was still shopping. I then re-parked closer to Starbucks on the same side of the street. I returned to my car at 11:55 a.m., only to find a ticket given to me at 11:37 a.m. Upset about this injustice, I found the parking attendant badge #304 and told her that the car was moved and not sitting in the same spot for 90 minutes. She stated that cars can’t be moved to another spot. I asked her ‘WHERE IS THE SIGN THAT SAYS THAT!!!” I was told there is no sign, it’s just a known unwritten fact. This is totally unjust!!!! So this means that shoppers can only shop for 90 minutes and then they must leave the town!!”

—overtime parking


Battery died. Lights left on. Went to fire station to ask for help. Come back ticket on window. Had to call AAA. They arrived shortly after 2 p.m.

15 thoughts on “‘I Have a Broken Ankle’: Parking Ticket Appeals

  1. It seems from reading this issue on parking that the enforcement is overly aggressive and inconsiderate. I think we should keep this a “happy” and exercise a bit of flexibility and not push the “print” button so quickly.

  2. I agree with the above commenter. I’ve had numerous friends or clients who choose not to meet me at a restaurant in town due to the strict parking rules. One day I parked in the municipal lot behind Elm Street, paid for my spot for the 90 minutes allowed, and was literally TWO minutes late getting to my car due to a slow waiter in giving us our check. I was shocked to see that there was already a ticket on the window. I didn’t fight it – I mean, why bother – especially when reasons given are posted online and made fun of by many. I was conducting business – I wasn’t grabbing a muffin or shopping, and was certainly not parked in a handicapped spot, although I will admit that after my lunch I would have stayed and shopped had I not been worried about getting a parking ticket. This aggressively strict enforcement is a real turn-off and I can only imagine our store owners suffer due to it. We’re basically saying “Sure, come eat, but we won’t give you time to shop also,” or “Come shop, but I sure hope you don’t get hungry!” I know that as a Realtor, I have heard comments from my buyers that they’ve “heard about New Canaan’s parking problems.” Hmmm – not good. My advice: get the repeat offenders (many of whom are store employees) off the main streets permanently. Boot any car who has more than 5 offenses. Then let the diners dine and let the shoppers shop without leaving the town center before they are ready or before they’ve spent their hard-earned dollars that keep out town RELEVANT.

    • The lots behind Elm (Park St lot and Playhouse lot) have a 3 hr max. Only Elm St has a 90 minute limit. Info on all of the lots can be found on the town website.

  3. I see both sides on these.. nobody around here ever thinks the rules apply to them. Although I have never seen such narcissistic driving attitudes as in FFC, some of these do seem to reflect a parking attendant that could use some more training..?

  4. These all seem pretty egregious examples of over enforcement coupled with “oh, you can appeal” which just creates a huge amount of work for all parties. How about being less quick on the draw so the issues that remain are without question violations?

  5. As Rachel said, I have left town before (wanting to stay and shop longer!) because my parking time is up. 90 mins is not long enough to eat and shop! I understand the limit on Elm, but in the back lots it seems excessive.

    • The back lots don’t have a 90 minute limit. Morse Court is 2 hr limit and all other lots are 3-8 hour spots depending on how much you put into the meter. I agree that it is a tight time limit on Elm but if you plan accordingly, you can spend more time in town without fear of a ticket.

  6. Lived in New Canaan 60+ years and this is one of the reasons I don’t shop here anymore. I have not parked in town for over 10 years and forget about the post office!!

    • If you have lived in NC for 60 years, then you should be aware that there is convenient inexpensive long term parking available in the Park Street and Morse Court parking lots?

  7. The parking spots in the large lot on Park street I believe are too small. I hate parking up there because my car always gets dinged by someone opening a door in the spot next to me.

  8. The 90 minute time limit on Elm Street exists to make it more difficult for retail and restaurant employees to park their cars on the street while they are working and move them between Elm and Main streets. Experience has shown that if the time limit were increased to two hours, more parking spots would be taken by the retail and restaurant employees and there would be even less parking available for customers. Also, please note that there is no safety margin in the time limits and you cannot always trust people to be accurate in their appeals. Longer time limit parking is readily available in the Park Street and Morse Court parking lots. If you buy the time, you can give yourself a margin and be virtually ensured that you will never get a parking ticket.

  9. how can a person with a broken ankle “RUN” to pay for an item and still say that ” In my circumstance, walking is quite difficult and uncomfortable “???
    And if her husband was in the car- was his ankle broken as well that he could not just drive around the block? I’m confused.

  10. LOL; this is my favorite NC feature, as it reminds of the privileged problems some have and it’s mostly hilarious how serious people want to be taken for their irrelevant and made-up issues, to get out of a parking ticket they know they deserve. Thank God we have eyes to read traffic signs, brains to process their meaning and anticipate the non-conforming consequences….and still, it’s a real ordeal to walk 50+ yards. Maybe not a bad thing after a nice meal. Even better with added shopping bag weight – – count it towards a day’s work out on the FitBit. But paying for primo parking, how dare they! Keep the good stories coming, always a good laugh and a joy and to see more $ into the towns coffers…you go NC parking enforcer!

    • Amen! It is amazing that some folks think it is OK to obstruct traffic if they’re in the car and have their flashers on. I applaud the efforts of the traffic enforcement team to keep things moving.

  11. The new canaan parking police are out of control. I am one of the best customers of the railroad commuter lot and I sometimes pay for the wrong space and they only give me one forgiven ticket per vehicle. Why it allows you to pay twice for the same spot is beyond me.

    I never pay for the morse court lot and risk it because I am usually just going on a quick errand. Also I never pay for the parking meters that accept quarters because its 2016

    I have started working from home more so I don’t have to deal with this.

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