‘There Has Been a Lot of Abuse’: Commissioner Flags Poor Parking Downtown

The restaurant “bump-outs” and revised parking and sidewalk schemes downtown have led to safety hazards because motorists are pulling into no-parking areas and even blocking crosswalks, official say. Trucks are pulling up along crosswalks so that it’s impossible to see pedestrians, according to Parking Commission Secretary Pam Crum. “There has been a lot of abuse going on as of late,” Crum said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Sept. 10 via videoconference. 

Crum questioned whether appropriately sized planters could be set up in areas such as Elm Street near Dunkin Donuts in order to prevent vehicles from parking where they shouldn’t. “The planters were there before and it wasn’t a problem,” Crum said.

‘They Probably Eyeballed It’: Parking Commission Voids Police-Issued Ticket

Saying police hadn’t taken a formal measurement, town officials last week voided a ticket issued to a Village Drive resident for parking too close to a fire hydrant. On receiving the ticket around midday on June 10, Adam Shooshan said he went to the New Canaan Police Department to discuss the matter. By law, no one may park within 10 feet of a hydrant, a violation that carries a $75 fine. Shooshan said he’d been warned already about parking near the hydrant out front of his house (it appeared there after he bought it last spring) so he created a groove in the street to ensure his family wasn’t in violation. Shooshan in making his July 8 appeal to the Parking Commission brought photographic evidence showing he was about 12 feet away from the hydrant.

Divided Commission Rejects Plan To Add 8 Permit Spaces in Park Street Lot

Saying the spaces should be left to short-term shoppers and diners, members of the Parking Commission last week voted 3-2 against offering eight additional permits for the Park Street Lot. Tucked behind Elm Street near the corner of Park, the 126-space lot already accommodates 36 “commercial permit” holders, 25 individuals with grandfathered permit spaces and about 17 municipal employees, officials say. Issuing eight more permits for those who work downtown would squeeze out those seeking to pay by the hour for spaces in order to visit retail shops and restaurants, according to Parking Commission members who opposed the measure. In addition, those who work downtown should be directed to buy a permit for lots located further from the center of town, such as on Locust Avenue or on the former Center School site along Maple Street, according to Commissioner Chris Hering. “The further out you get, the longer you are able to park,” he said at the March 4 meeting, held in Town Hall.