‘I Have Been a Teacher at Saxe Middle School for 24 Years’: Parking Ticket Appeals

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A Mercedes parks in the crosswalk on Elm Street on Nov. 19, 2015. Contributed

Here are excerpts from parking ticket appeals letters filed recently with the New Canaan Parking Bureau:


“I put the car for one second in handicapped zone to just drop my friend. I don’t think is right to give a ticket for one sec when the person is inn and car on the parking was full. I drove twice around. I now I’m not suppost to park but I just put the car there to drop my friend.”

—$150 for handicapped zone in Post Office lot, at 12:53 p.m. on Aug. 31 (New Canaan resident)


Botched parking on Elm Street

“I had an appointment at 10:00 at Benefit. Then I went to Shoes+More. I came out probably at 11:00. The truck was blocking me in. There was no delivery truck driver in sight. I sat in my car for 10 minutes waiting for the driver. I decided to go to another store. I came back + the ruck man was there, the lady in front of me had just pulled out. But I still count fit. The truck finally backed up so I could get out. Bottom line – I was blocked in + couldn’t get out.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Elm street, at 12:13 p.m. on Sept. 4 (New Canaan resident)


“I have had an office and a business on Forest Street for 10 years now. Over that time, I have parked in this spot where I received this ticket many times and have not received a violation. There have always been two parking spots in this location. I parked as close as possible to the truck that was parked in front of me. Due to recent road paving, there are no parking spot demarcations designated on the road and the crosswalk was not designated. Given my tenure in the area, I have had my fair share of tickets which I have paid. I am requesting an appeal of this ticket because I never expected to receive a violation for parking in this spot, I thought I was parked legally.”

—$25 for ’25-feet from corner’ at 1:03 p.m. on Sept. 24 (New Canaan resident)


Not a parking space, on Elm Street. MW photo

“1. I was in the car. 2. The car was running. 3. The car was in gear. 4. My foot was on the brake. 5. There is a picture of my brake lights on. 6. I showed the officer that the car was in gear and my foot was on the brake when she approached my window with the ticket. 7. After that, I asked twice how exactly was I breaking the law and she could not explain got flustered and said if I want an explanation, she pointed and she said ‘the head of the department is in that building.’ 8. I then spoke to [the parking manager]. In that conversation it became obvious that she did not understand the legal distinctions between ‘no standing,’ ‘no stopping’ and ‘no parking’ as evidenced when she accused me of lying and actually being in park, as if, that were the legal definition of ‘parked.’ 9. There was no request or instruction to move by the officer. Had there been, this could have been easily avoided. 10. This is an abuse of one person’s position and is a waste of my time and I do not appreciate it.”

—No park zone on Main Street at 1:17 p.m. on Sept. 26 (New Canaan resident)


“I was attending the 9/11 Memorial Service, and parking in the town hall lot was full. I as at the service for approx. 45 minutes.”

—$25 for unpaid space at Playhouse Lot, at 9:34 a.m. on Sept. 11 (New Canaan resident)


“I received this ticket at 1:30 on September 19, 2018 for parking without paying in the Main Street lot. The green sign near the pay machine in front of Health Fare says that parking is free on Sundays and holidays. I have been a teacher at Saxe Middle School for 24 years and I, along with the entire New Canaan Public School population, had no school on September 19th because it was Yom Kippur, a holiday. Yom Kippur is considered  holiday by the New Canaan Public School system, so I thought it was also considered a holiday by the Town of New Canaan. The holidays which are or are not allowed are not listed on the big green sign. I read the sign from my car and thought to myself, ‘We have no school because today is a holiday, so I guess it’s free to park here today.’ ”

—(New Canaan resident)


Botched parking job on Forest Street. MW photo

“Friday morning I had a business meeting at the New Canaan diner and parked my car on Forest Street, right by these signs thinking I was in a legal parking spot upon first glance. The signs confused me (my own error) with the times and the way the signs were stacked up top one another. I am writing as a New Canaan resident asking for forgiveness on my ticket.”

—$30 for loading zone on Forest Street, at 9:08 a.m. on Sept. 14 (New Canaan resident)


“I have not before ridden my bike to the train station. I looked for an area where other motorcycles were parked but could not find one. I believe that other Metro North stations offer free parking for motorcycles. I have parked similarly in other towns, without a problem. I parked it out of the way, off the pavement, in an area where there were no visible ‘No Parking’ signs. I did not realize I was parking in violation of the New Canaan Ordinances.”

—$30 for no parking zone at Railroad lot, at 2:26 p.m. on Sept. 5 (New Canaan resident)


“This week, I have traveled from Alaska to New Canaan to attend a funeral of a dear friend. It has been a very long journey, but wonderful to spend some quiet time in your community to prepare for the upcoming funeral. I have spent much time on Elm Street enjoying the shops and cafes, and contributing to your local economy each day. Today I again ventured downtown and parked in what I thought was a two hour parking zone. I made sure to be back before my two hours was up. When I returned to my car on Main Street near the fire station, I discovered a parking ticket on my window. Apparently, I parked in a ‘no parking zone,’ but did not see the sign due to the hanging basket which was partially covering the sign. Had I seen it, I would NOT have parked in this spot. I also witnessed another car (with out of state plates) park in front of me as I was preparing to depart my parking spot, and I let her know she was in a no-loading zone. She did not see the sign either, so I am not the only one that believed it was a valid parking spot. I am returning to Alaska after the funeral this weekend, and will not be able to come to your offices to appeal this citation, I would like to appear this citation due to the fact that the signage was not fully visible.”

—$30 for loading zone on Main Street at 9:58 a.m. on Sept. 21 (Anchorage, Alaska resident)


“I received a ticket at the New Canaan Train Station in the Rail Road Lot on 9/19/18. I am writing to dispute the charge as I attempted to pay the parking fee. The machine attempted to process the transaction and it appeared as if it would proceed as normal. The transaction did not complete, and the machine shut down and went into a full restart. As I was attempting to make a train, I was unable to wait for the machine to reboot. I am a regular customer of the lot and always pay my fare, and in this situation – I would appreciate some understanding if at all possible.”

—$30 for unpaid space at the Railroad Lot, at 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 19 (New Canaan resident)


“The loading zone sign was in the space in front of where I parked. There was no sign where I parked.”

—$30 for loading zone on Forest Street, at 10:07 a.m. on Sept. 26 (Shelton resident)


“I received a parking ticket on Monday 9/24 that is undoubtedly incorrect. I parked my vehicle on Forrest street (a 2 hour parking zone) at 12:17. I received a ticket at 12:55, less than an our after I parked in a 2-hour parking zone. I would Kindly ask to have this ticket expelled and written confirmation of such actions either mailed or emailed.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Forest Street, at 12:55 p.m. on Sept. 24 (New Canaan resident)


“Plants hanging down over small loading zone sign – then very large 2 hour parking sign visible.”

—$30 for loading zone on Main Street, at 10:37 a.m. on Sept. 21 (New Canaan resident)


“I was picking up a guitar being repaired at [a Main Street business]. I was there to load the guitar into my vehicle. Please see attached receipt.”

—$30 for loading zone at 9:47 a.m. on Sept. 20 (Stamford resident)


“I parked on Main st. near Garelick + Herbs + saw ‘2 hr. Parking’ but the loading zone info on sign above was obscured by flowering plant. This parking restriction was implemented 4 mos. ago + not clear to me. I have been opening NC Parking rules since 1996!”

—$30 for loading zone on Main Street, at 10:13 a.m. on Sept. 15 (New Canaan resident)


“I parked in this spot for two hours and got a ticket. If I do not get this appealed, I will NEVER come shop and spend money in this town.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Main Street, at 3:12 p.m. on Sept. 18 (Ridgefield resident) [Note from enforcement officer: ‘Clocked by plate reader at 1:02, ticketed at 3:15.]


“I parked behind the 2-hour parking sign and tried to make out the yellow lines that were totally faded so as not to park in the loading zone. It was close to impossible to make them out. Since that made it hard to determine I saw a white line painted perpendicular to the curb and parked there. In addition there was a 2 hour parking sign that I parked behind.”

—$30 for loading zone on Elm Street, at 9:27 a.m. on Aug. 30 (New Canaan resident)


“Parked in front of Joes Pizza I was not aware of time change to 30 minutes. Sign was covered by overgrown plant.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Locust Avenue, $40 for second violation, on Aug. 30 (New Canaan resident)

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