‘I Wish I Had A Wonderful Excuse’: Parking Ticket Appeals

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Two neighbouring cars, both parked over the line on Elm Street. Behind them is a double-parked FedEx vehicle. Credit: Olivia Oldham

These are excerpts from recent appeal letters that motorists filed with the New Canaan Parking Bureau after receiving tickets.


“Dear Stacy, Thank you for taking the time to go over the procedures for disputing a parking ticket with me. You were very helpful and I appreciate it. Here’s my testimony: On Monday morning, I parked on Forest Street (left side) just after the handicapped parking spot. When I pulled into the spot, I looked up to check the sign to see if it was a 2 hour or 90 minute spot (as I was going to a hair appointment at Salon 5 East). I was very close to the sign and just saw the green and white ‘2 hour parking’ sign through the top edge of my windshield. My bigger concern was that I had left enough room behind me for the handicapped parking spot. So, when I exited my vehicle, I immediately walked to the rear of my car to be sure there was enough room. I did not, therefore, look back at the parking sign to check that I was in a legal spot, as I was focused on the handicapped signage. Satisfied that I had given enough space for the other spot, I continued on toward the East Avenue to my appointment. When I walked back to my vehicle, got in and went to start the ignition, I was quite surprised to see a ticket on my windshield. WhenI got back out of my vehicle to take the ticket from my windshield, still puzzled as to why I was ticketed, I checked my watch and saw that I had not exceeded the two hour limit. Then I read the ticket more carefully and noted that the violation was parking in a ‘loading zone’. It was only then that I looked back up at the sign (from outside of my vehicle) and could see the red and white loading zone sign ABOVE the green and white 2 hour parking sign. I did not see the loading zone sign when I originally parked as it was above the line of sight of my windshield. I respectfully ask that the parking authority take into consideration my honest effort to obey the parking rules, and forgive the fine that was levied.”

—$30 for parking in a loading zone on Forest Street, at 10:02 a.m. on August 6 (New Canaan resident)


“I wish I had a wonderful excuse, but quite honestly, I inadvertently parked in a to-be-paid parking spot across the street from UCBC to grab a quick bagel, thinking that it was a 15-minute parking space. I ran into UCBC and back out to my car, honestly for perhaps 90 seconds at the most (no cream cheese, not toasted, just a bagel in a bag). The parking officer did an extremely efficient job in ticketing me so quickly, and was quite polite when I asked him if he’d rescind it, but alas, got ticketed. I’ve lived here in New Canaan since 1997, have always been one of its biggest fans and always will be. I know it’s only $25, but if you could see to showing some clemency on this one infraction, I’d greatly appreciate it.”

—$25 for failing to pay for a parking space in the Main Street lot at 11:12 a.m. on July 23 (New Canaan resident)


“My car was parked and moved within the allowed 2 hour window. There was a same BMW328 2 cars behind me that might have gotten mistaken for my car. I would appreciate if you’d cancel my ticket as I followed the parking rules. Thank you in advance!”

$25 for overtime parking on Main Street, at 12:36pm on August 1 (Norwalk resident)


“I am protesting the ticket as I was not parked, but was “standing”. The vehicle was turned on with hazard lights deployed for no more than 3-4 minutes as I was making a delivery to a local business on the adjacent block. I admit that I saw the sign and understood it to mean that I could not park, but it did not say that vehicles could not be standing in this location. If the vehicle was not running and the hazard lights were not deployed, I would understand the ticket as there would be no way to determine how long the vehicle may be sitting in this location. Based on this explanation, I’m requesting this letter be accepted in place of payment for the ticket and that the ticket be expunged and considered paid in full.”

$30 for parking in a no parking zone on Burtis Ave at 1:32 p.m. on July 11 (Old Greenwich resident)


A car parked over the line on Elm Street. Credit: Olivia Oldham

“I was parked on South Ave at the mobile station. There are 2 spots, the car in front took up a space and some more leaving  my car hanging over the actual space on the corner. Please excuse this ticket, I am now aware of this violation.”

$30 for parking in a no parking zone on South Ave at 11:14 a.m. on July 23 (New Canaan resident)


“I was not aware my permanent handicap sticker had expired. I have just returned to CT and did not know it expired. I would like to request a hearing.”

$150 for parking in a handicapped zone on Elm Street at 2:21 p.m. on July 16 (Hartford resident)


“My car was parked just in front of entrance and exit to Starbucks for a few minutes and in no way hindered the continuation of the sidewalk from CVS entrance to the crosswalk. I will be out of New Canaan from early August till early November. My daughter will be at my residence but will not respond to mail notices.”

$50 for parking on the sidewalk on Park Street at 11:31 a.m. on July 15 (New Canaan resident)


“I am remitting payment for the enclosed ticket under protest. My violation was not intentional; I thought I was parking in a legal space. As the picture I’ve enclosed illustrates, I was parked behind the car in the foreground. I thought the No Parking/Loading Zone sign on the utility pole in the picture applied to the space above the pole not before it—perhaps I looked at the signage too quickly but that is how I interpreted it. Second, I was parked in the space for no more than five minutes while I was purchasing a cup of coffee at CT Muffin, and a $30 fine seems excessive. I only learned of my mistake from the parking attendant when I returned from my errand and found her issuing me a citation. Consequently, I would like to respectfully appeal this ticket. I am a long time resident of New Canaan who has served in town government, and my mistake was genuinely unintentional.

$30 for parking in a loading zone on Main Street at 9:31 a.m. on July 15 (New Canaan resident)

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