Demand for a new type of parking permit serving those who work in downtown New Canaan businesses has been so high that municipal officials are looking to issue more of them.
Designed to stop those employees from taking up free spaces on Main and Elm Streets, the 40 permits made available last summer for Morse Court and Park Street Lots (20 apiece) all have been sold and so the town is looking to issue another 10, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan.
“There is no reason not to just continue to meet that demand,” Moynihan said last week during a media briefing held in his Town Hall office, in response to a question from NewCanaanite.com.
The permits cost $438 per year. To help targeted downtown workers afford them, the Parking Bureau may also allow permit-holders to pay quarterly versus annually, Moynihan said.
It’s a timely issue, as the town anticipates the loss of 15 prime parking spots on Elm Street due to one resident’s apparent affection for a little-known state law regarding crosswalks.
Employees of retail shops in the area being cited for overtime parking have been routine for some time. According to a 2016 survey, about 20 percent of the 365 downtown employees incurred parking tickets on a weekly basis that are not reimbursed by business owners.
The new permit program has been successful in opening up some parking in the magic circle, according to Parking Superintendent Stacy Miltenberg.
“As always it is recommended to the employees of the town to try to keep the closer lots and the free parking open for the shoppers coming into town,” Miltenberg said. “This is important so the business can grow and they’re not taking up space from the shoppers and instead utilize the business lots we’ve made available to them.”
The Parking Bureau reported no wait lists for employees to gain access to the Central School and Locust Avenue lots. However, there are eight downtown workers on the waiting list for Morse Court and nine for Park, Miltenberg said.
Miltenberg urged those interested in one of the permits to contact the Parking Bureau.
“If there is any employee in the town that is interested in getting a business permit in anyone of the lots, feel free to contact me,” Miltenberg said. “I am happy to help and answer any questions.”
Downtown Parking Permit Request Forms can be downloaded or can be picked up at the Parking Department located at 174 South Ave., 2nd Floor and cost $438.
—Michael Dinan contributed to this report