Podcast: Chamber Director Laura Budd on This Weekend’s Sidewalk Sale

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, about the Sidewalk Sale, which will be held this Saturday, July 17th, on Elm and Forest Streets, after local merchants kick it off outside their storefronts on Friday. We hear from Laura about what to expect this year in terms of vendors, as well as activities, food, and Sidewalk Sale do’s and don’ts. All parking is free on Saturday. The Sidewalk Sale is sponsored by William Raveis. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Town Voids $30 Ticket Issued to River Street Man for Leaving Vehicle in ‘No Parking’ Zone

Despite neighbors’ complaints about traffic and safety problems caused by cars parked on what is already a narrow road, municipal officials last week voided a River Street man’s $30 ticket for leaving his car in a no-parking zone. There have always been no-parking signs at either end of River Street on the west side of the road, according to Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg. However, the signs were far apart and residents mistakenly thought they could park in the middle section of River Street on the west side, she said. When the town installed sidewalks along that side of the street several months ago, public works officials put up temporary no-parking signs that became permanent once the sidewalks were in, she said. The town for many months has received complaints from residents “that it’s been difficult for buses and two cars” to go down River Street with vehicles parked on the side of it, though enforcement has been difficult in the past, Miltenberg said during a regular meeting of the Parking Commission, held July 8 via videoconference.

Parking Commission Upholds $50 Ticket Issued to New Canaan Man for Double-Parking on Elm Street

Municipal officials last week upheld a $50 ticket issued to a New Canaan man who had double-parked outside an Elm Street restaurant on a Tuesday afternoon in May. In pleading his case to the Parking Commission, Gayle Sanders said that he was “returning some lights to Rosie’s restaurant” that had been used at a catered event. “I had parked, double-parked right next to the restaurant,” Sanders said during his appeal hearing, held Thursday via videoconference. “I tucked in, there wasn’t any traffic and I put my blinker lights on, and carried the box in and then returned back to my car. I couldn’t have been more than one minute in the whole process.

Police Commission Approves Road Closures for July 17 Sidewalk Sale

New Canaan’s local traffic authority last week approved a request to close a main drag in the heart of the downtown for a Saturday in July for the one of the community’s most popular annual events. The Police Commission vote unanimously to close the one-way stretch of Elm Street, part of Forest Street and the “Pop-Up Park” area at Elm and South for the Sidewalk Sale, to be held July 17. “We are not going to close Main Street this year, which we would have had to ask the state for permission for that,” New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Budd told members of the Commission at their regular meeting, held May 19 via videoconference. “It will be bigger than last year, where we asked for two days to close the street. This year, we’re just going to ask for one.

Parking Commission by 4-1 Vote Recommends Charging for Use of Park Street, Playhouse Lots on Saturdays

Saying it would be more consistent with other municipal lots and would create more revenue for the town, officials are recommending that motorists start being charged for the Saturday use of two lots located behind Elm Street. The Parking Commission at its May 6 meeting voted 4-1 to start charging for the Park Street and Playhouse Lots on Saturdays. “We always try to keep the rules simple, and if we just say ‘parking is free Sunday and you pay on Saturday for all downtown lots’ it’s easier for everyone to remember,” Chair Keith Richey said at the appointed body’s regular meeting, held via videoconference. 

Town officials already charge on Saturday for parking in the Morse Court Lot. Commissioner Peter Ogilvie said the town should have the same policy for Park Street and Playhouse, which are next to each other, as it has for Morse Court. 

Commissioner Drew Magratten agreed, noting that Connecticut and the wider tristate area are on the verge of trying to reopen after more than one year of sweeping restrictions under the pandemic “to get back to some sort of normalcy.”

Consistency is important, Magratten said, “because as you can see from these appeals a lot of people people get confused—different rules [for] different lots.” He referred to ticketed motorists who appeal to the Commission in order to have violation fees forgiven. Richey, Ogilvie, Magratten and Commissioner Jennifer Donovan voted in favor of the recommendation.