Parking Officials Uphold $150 Ticket for Local Woman Who Parked in Disabled Space on Elm

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It happened here. Streetview

Town officials this month voted unanimously to uphold a $150 ticket issued to a New Canaan woman who had parked in a disabled space on Elm Street. 

Trine Lozier told members of the Parking Commission during a recent appeal hearing that she’d come downtown on the afternoon of May 8 (a Wednesday) to meet girlfriends for lunch at Rosie to celebrate her birthday.

“I saw this spot and so I reversed into it,” Lozier said during the July 11 hearing, held at Town Hall. “I couldn’t believe I got this spot. And I never saw the handicapped sign.”

In her appeal, Lozier said the signage on Elm Street is confusing because some say there’s two-hour parking and, though there may have been another sign indicating the disabled space, there was no blue “handicapped painted symbols on the road.”

Lozier said further that she’s “become embarrassed” at parking enforcement after moving to New Canaan from northern California.

“I worked like a lot of retail and stuff, too, and I am always like so supportive of the town shopping and I have to say, that the parking situation, I’ve become embarrassed, I used to work in Greenwich, also, I’m an interior designer, and I was always so positive about our situation, we try to keep everyone shopping locally and try to support the town, but the parking situation is just out of control,” she said.

Lozier added, “Don’t you want people to come here?” Later, she said, “What I am saying to you guys is I would never do this.”

Yet she did, by her own admission and according to photos recorded by parking enforcement.

Ultimately, Commissioners Pam Crum, Peter Ogilvie and Stuart Stringfellow voted 3-0 to uphold the ticket.

During the hearing, Crum noted that New Canaan offers nearby metered parking lots at Morse Court and behind the Playhouse, among other places, and that the downtown faces a problem whereby motorist “tend to park on the street [in the free spaces] and then sit there.”

During brief deliberations, the commissioners noted that Lozier in her appeal included photographs from a full month after she’d been cited. 

4 thoughts on “Parking Officials Uphold $150 Ticket for Local Woman Who Parked in Disabled Space on Elm

  1. No wonder people do not want to shop downtown. Parking is difficult to find, and if someone happens to park in violation of codes, he/she is publicly shamed. I am not questioning the fact that Ms. Lozier received the $150 fine. I don’t question that she honestly did not realize it was a disabled space. What I find particularly small minded is that you publish her name, her plea, and the result. Why is it necessary to offer her up for embarrassment?

    • Thank you for submitting your comment and questions.

      As a news organization, we cover public meetings and publish faithful accounts of what’s said at them. We require attribution for any direct quote. In this case—as in the past—we presented the appellant’s arguments as well as the Parking Commission’s deliberations and decision. Sometimes the commissioners uphold tickets, other times they void them—we report on the appeal hearings either way.

      It’s true that some appeals are more involved and contentious than others—here’s a recent example of a very heated hearing. I don’t recall you flagging that story. We apply a single standard to our coverage and do not pick and choose when to publish an appellant’s name, regardless of how familiar it is to you.

      We’ve concluded that how and when parking enforcement officers issue citations are matters of public interest. You may disagree with that conclusion, though I would note that the question of when tickets are issued has itself been a major discussion topic within the Commission and Parking Bureau, as we also have reported.

      If you feel ashamed or embarrassed for the appellant, I would think that says far more about you than it does about us. What you intend as a show of concern could come across—unintentionally and unmistakably—as patronizing sanctimony.

      Thank you again.

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