Parking enforcement officers who long have patrolled downtown New Canaan on foot or from one of three town-issued vehicles, now can be seen keeping motorists out of loading zones, handicapped spaces and crosswalks from bicycles.
Days after the start of a fiscal year that saw a request for a fourth vehicle pushed out, the New Canaan Parking Bureau acquired two bicycles for enforcement officers’ use, according to Stacy Miltenberg, head of the department.
“We have a bike patrol,” she told members of the Parking Commission at their meeting last Thursday night, held in Town Hall.
“We have four people. We only have three cars. So we bought two bicycles. [Parking Enforcement Officer] Mike [McCargo] took it out for the first time today and he was liking it.”
The news came up during a discussion of new staffing in the Parking Bureau. McCargo recently was made full-time and the town hired another full-time as well as part-time enforcement officer, Miltenberg said.
“It is working out,” Miltenberg said of the enforcement officers. “They are out there. I hear people saying, ‘You guys are all over the place. You must’ve hired way more people.’ And I’m saying, ‘No, we are really just up to full complement.’ We are doing what we’re supposed to be doing. They’re doing a great job.”
The Parking Bureau during the last budget cycle had put in a $38,000 capital request for a new vehicle to replace one that is 13 years old and in need of numerous repairs (see page 16 here). That funding was pushed to next fiscal year in the town’s fluid 5-year capital plan.
Miltenberg said in an interview after the meeting that the bikes should help make parking enforcement officers more readily available to answer questions from motorists and pedestrians, and will serve as a backup in case a vehicle goes down as well as during special events such as the Saturday, July 15 Sidewalk Sale.