Selectmen Approve New $10 Fee for Those on Municipal Parking Permit Waiting Lists

Those waiting for permitted parking spaces to free up at New Canaan’s municipal lots will receive a letter this fall requesting that they pay $10 in order to stay on the waiting list through next fiscal year, following a decision that town officials made Tuesday.

The new fee—approved 3-0 by the Board of Selectmen on a one-time trial basis, with the possibility that it becomes a regular annual occurrence—could become “a little bit of a burden because it’s an additional task,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said.

“But it would be great to know who is truly and sincerely interested,” Mallozzi said at the selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “There are so many families that have moved into town, so many folks moving out of New York.”

Members of the New Canaan Parking Commission have made a strong case that the town needs more parking for commuters. The waiting list for the Lumberyard and Railroad lots is eight years long, while residents are waiting three years for a permit to park at Richmond Hill lot, according to data released earlier this year.

In Darien, the parking authority each December issues a letter asking those on waiting lists for permit to pay $10 or else lose their place in line. New Canaan is eyeing a similar strategy, in hopes that it shrinks the long waiting lists here to an accurate level.

According to Karen Miller, supervisor of the New Canaan Parking Bureau, a full half of those whose names linger on the waiting lists “do not want permits.”

The Parking Commission, which oversees New Canaan’s municipal lots, discussed the matter of the new fee and felt that some could be annoyed by it, Miller reported, but ultimately felt it could be good housekeeping.

Selectman Nick Williams, a commuter himself, said he supported imposing the fee once and that “if folks say it’s a huge nuisance, we can revisit it.”

“I do think the key is that we need to get more parking and there are people on the list” who remain year after year though they really do not want a permit, Williams said.

A letter from the Parking Bureau to those on the waiting list likely would go out in September, officials said.

Here’s a table that looks at municipal parking lot demand in New Canaan, with figures updated as of a few months ago:

Parking Permits and Demand in New Canaan

Parking LotTotal SpacesMeteredBy PermitPermits SoldWaiting ListYrs Waiting
Richmond Hill70070985523
Talmdadge Hill366962704262881
Park Street1209822See Note*n/an/a
Locust Lot155sharedshared124none0
Telephone Lot1801827131
Center School Lot1687593238none0
Source: New Canaan Parking Bureau

* The Park Street Lot has several grandfathered permit holders and 17 permits for 175 Elm St., and Town Hall workers and municipal vehicles are now taking 28 spaces in the Park Street Lot

2 thoughts on “Selectmen Approve New $10 Fee for Those on Municipal Parking Permit Waiting Lists

  1. Waiting 2+years, am now a frequent Talmadge Hill commuter & user and happy to pay ten bucks if it addresses the pocess; but are there really enough spaces to go around? (maybe also an obvious issue with house re-sale, as prospective house buyers evaluate commuting options to NYC). Currently the largest but least user friendly station is THill and parking is completely full by 8:00am. . Think the area still has yet more potential for expansion; would allow for a great, dual-level parking development (covered space pay more, roof pay less), AND keeping parked cars out of sight from our valued down-town NC. An upgrade of the pot-holes/surfacing and installing a MTA ticket machine, expanded rain cover, would also help making THill a better commuter place. Also should revisit the metered-spot charges based on supply/convenience & demand. Would say the 50 or so train station metered lots (error in your list is stating zero, btw) could easily charge 15 bucks for a whole day of parking, while THill is good with $5. Maybe train station income can fund the THill renos and development, making THill more of a NC commuter hub than it is already? My other proposal would be to construct a side walk and bike bath to go from THill to Waveny, but that’s for another day.

  2. I agree with Martin L’s comments and observations.

    However, even if TH had dual-levels our Parking Bureau will continue to oversell permits. For over $400 per year a permit holder should have a spot.

    My son needs to commute via Metro North to get to school. I drop him off at the station and then I return to collect him.

    One time he used my husband’s car to go to school. My husband was out of town on a business trip and is a permit holder. Yes, by 8 a.m. ALL permit places were used and ALL metered places were full.

    Thankfully my son arrives extra early for class. He was able to drive home and I had to drop him off at the station…….because there were no parking places available at Talmadge Hill.

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