Town Upholds $150 Ticket for New Canaan Woman Who Parked in Disabled Space

The Parking Commission voted 4-0 at its most recent meeting to uphold a $150 ticket issued to a New Canaan woman who had parked in a disabled space on Elm Street. 

Sandra Rama told members of the Commission during their March 14 meeting that she had a “handicapped parking sticker up until November” following a hip replacement one year ago, “so I am very aware of not parking in a handicapped spot.”

Yet at about 3:46 p.m. on Jan. 8, she received a ticket for parking in the disabled space at Elm and Main Streets. “I pulled up and, you know, there has been a lot of changes to Elm Street and it’s very not marked,” Rama said during her appeal hearing, held at Town Hall. “There’s no lines between the spots and I actually backed up so that someone could pull in front of me and that was actually the right spot to be in, in front of where I was. I didn’t really see the sign.”

Ultimately, Commissioners Keith Richey, Pam Crum, Peter Ogilvie and Stuart Stringfellow voted to uphold the ticket.

Town Upholds $50 Ticket for Double-Parking Woman on Elm Street 

The Parking Commission at its most recent meeting voted 4-1 to uphold a $50 ticket for a Norwalk woman who double-parked on Elm Street. Michelle Santiago told Commissioners during her appeal hearing that she’d just left the People’s Bank parking lot on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 1, turned right and right again onto Elm while she waited for a space so she could get lunch at Pinocchio Pizza. “I was there three minutes, just waiting for a parking spot,” Santiago said during the Commission’s March 14 meeting, held at Town Hall. “The parking attendant comes behind me, I noticed her behind me, she had gotten out of her car, she was checking other cars, then she got back in her car, so I moved up to see maybe she was marking cars with her stick and then after I’d say a minute and then she comes around and gives me a ticket, tells me I was double-parked.

Parking Commission Votes 3-2 To Keep Permit Rates Flat Next Year

A divided Parking Commission voted last week to keep rates for all permits to town lots flat for next fiscal year. With some commissioners pushing for relief especially for commuters who already face the highest annual fees for parking permits, the appointed body voted 3-2 during its March 14 meeting to keep rates flat. The recommendation now moves to the Board of Selectmen. 

Commissioner Chris Hering noted that the MTA is already raising its own rates. “I really think we want to drive ridership and given our that our Talmadge Hill parking lot is not full—we don’t have waitlist there—and, this is anecdotally, but people are happy when they are the newcomers and they can commute and get a permit in Talmadge Hill it’s nice,” Hering said during the meeting, held in Town Hall. In pushing back against one proposal for an across-the-board 2 percent increase in permit rates—which would see the cost of commuter lot permits go up more than others—Hering said that New Canaan already is a less attractive town for many commuters because it’s a longer ride and more difficult to find parking at rail lots than many others. 

“It’s a matter of creating an incentive for them or having them drive down to Darien for less money,” Hering said.

Town Officials Vote 4-1 To Charge for Disabled Parking Spaces at Railroad Station 

After research showed that several nearby towns already do so, officials last week recommended that six spaces for disabled parking at the train station be included among those charged $6 per day. The Parking Commission’s recommendation by a 4-1 vote is limited to six spots fronting the train platform on the north side of the station downtown and does not extend to municipal lots. The measure still requires approval from the Board of Selectmen. Commission Chairman Keith Richey said during the appointed body’s March 14 meeting that state officials have confirmed “the town has latitude and discretion to charge a parking fee for handicapped designated spaces at the rail stations.”

“This is a common practice at many New Haven line station facilities,” Richey said, citing a memo from the state Department of Transportation’s supervising rail officer. 

Currently, disabled people using the six spots at the train station are not charged. Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said a survey conducted at the request of First Selectman Kevin Moynihan showed that of five comparable towns—Stamford, Westport, Fairfield, Greenwich and Darien—only one (Darien) does not charge for disabled spots at train station lots.