Parking officials received an update during a recent meeting on continued efforts to contact town commuters regarding their placement on permit waiting lists for the Lumberyard, Richmond Hill and Talmadge Hill municipal lots.
Parking Bureau Superintendent Stacy Miltenberg told members of the Parking Commission at their May 11 meeting that the agency started making calls to commuters at the end of January to confirm whether they still wanted to purchase a permit and she reported the following results:
- Lumberyard: Out of 70 commuters contacted, 28 purchased permits, 17 declined, and 25 did not respond
- Richmond Hill: Out of 29 commuters contacted, 8 purchased permits, 11 declined, and 10 did not respond
- Talmadge Hill: Out of 94 commuters contacted, 34 purchased permits, 26 declined, and 34 did not respond
Miltenberg said that the bureau has stopped making calls to commuters on the waiting lists because they’re now in the process of sending out renewals to current permit holders, scheduled to be mailed out this month.
“We can’t give current permits out while we start doing renewals because I have to change the whole computer system over [from one task to the next],” she said.
The bureau anticipates that it will pick up the waiting list call process again at the end of August once the renewal process has ended. Miltenberg added that the bureau is currently working on putting the municipal lot waiting lists online, so commuters can view updated versions of them in “read only” mode.
In May of last year, the Board of Selectmen approved a $10 fee for commuters to remain on the municipal lot waiting lists throughout the fiscal year. The Oct. 31 deadline to pay the fee was later extended to Dec. 31 to give those that didn’t respond a chance to keep their place in line. As of the end of last year, Talmadge Hill’s waitlist ran about one year, Richmond Hill three years, and Lumberyard seven to 7.5 years. The permits cost upwards of $456 annually.
Later in the meeting, Commissioner Christopher Hering gave an update on his ongoing efforts to bring additional lighting and closed circuit TVs to the Talmadge Hill station. He said that after recent incidences of cars parked at the station being broken into or vandalized, he believes these improvements will provide additional safety and security to the station.
“I’ve learned from [First Selectman] Rob [Mallozzi] that there’s been graffiti down there and all sort of things,” he said. “The technology has changed a lot in the past five years. Darien has closed circuit televisions at all three of their stations, our town’s YMCA has a license plate reader that can read every license plate that comes on the lot as well as cameras, and the Westport YMCA has cameras. The point being is that there’s some logistics to work out [for Talmadge Hill],” he said.
Hering said he plans to reach out to the Utilities Commission about the new LED bulbs that were placed downtown last month in hopes of bringing the same lighting to Talmadge Hill. “[I would like to discuss] the possibility of moving to LEDs to save money, not on power, but mainly on maintenance. They only have to be changed every 10 years, so that’s kind of a no-brainer. It’s just getting the momentum going for this situation.”