‘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.

Parking Enforcement Ramps Up As Downtown Activity Increases

As New Canaan businesses continue to reopen and draw more visitors downtown, motorists who violate serious parking regulations such as parking in crosswalks, in front of fire hydrants and in designated disabled spaces will receive tickets, officials say. Yet parking in municipal lots remains free, and those overstaying time limits will receive a “courtesy ticket” that amounts to a warning, according to Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg. The system is designed to get shoppers, diners and downtown workers accustomed to the reintroduction of parking enforcement, which officials said had been suspended last month. “Nobody should be parking illegally—we are going to do our best to move people along—but if a car is illegally parked and we can’t get it to move, we will be ticketing,” Miltenberg said. The question of when to start enforcing the two-hour time limits on streets such as Main and Elm is fluid, and will depend largely on how quickly downtown re-fills with visitors.

Commission Upholds Parking Tickets at Appeals Hearing

Several motorists appealed parking violations during last week’s meeting of the New Canaan Parking Commission. Mariann Funch said she came to New Canaan to shop on a Monday and parked on Elm Street. The Stamford resident told the Commission during her appeal hearing that she “put the space number into the machine and paid with three quarters, slowly, one at a time.” Funch went into the store for about 45 minutes and when she came back she had a ticket, she said during the hearing, held Nov. 7 in Town Hall. Funch said after she discovered the ticket on her vehicle she went back to check the parking kiosk and noticed that there was three quarters in the refund slot, indicating that her transaction never went through.

‘No Parking’ Signs Installed To Improve Safety at Marshall Ridge and Richmond Hill Roads

Town officials have installed new parking signs in a residential neighborhood just south of the downtown following concerns from residents there that increased on-street parking has created a safety hazard. At the recommendation of the Traffic Calming Work Group, ‘No Parking Here To Corner’ signs have been installed toward the northern end of Marshall Ridge Road, where it intersects with Richmond Hill Road. 

An administrative team that includes members of the Police, Fire, Parking and Public Works Departments, the Work Group fielded a Marshall Ridge Road resident’s request for traffic-calming following what she described as a car crash during the morning school and work rush. According to Dawn Belles, a vehicle traveling eastbound on Richmond Hill Road at about 8:10 a.m. on a recent morning struck a vehicle with a mom driving her son toward school as that car tried to exit from Marshall Ridge. “Its very lucky kids weren’t around crossing to get to the bus stop on [Marshall] Ridge,” Belles wrote in her email to traffic officials, obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a public records request. With motorists, possibly commuters, parking on both sides of the road in the morning, that end of Marshall Ridge becomes dangerously narrow, to the point where school buses sometimes have difficulty getting through, Belles said in the letter.