‘This Is a Paradigmatic Shift’: Selectman Williams Calls on Parking Officials To Assess Post-COVID Demand for Commuter Permits

Saying demand for commuter lot permits likely will decline post-COVID, Selectman Nick Williams this week called for parking officials to assess the “new normal” for New Canaan. During Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Williams called on the Parking Commission to “take a look at the Lumberyard, say, and determine that hey, for the foreseeable future and maybe forever, we are going to see a 20%, 30%, 40% reduction in usage.”

“Because folks just aren’t going into the city as much. I know that if you do go in twice a week or three times a week or once a week, the tendency will be to keep your commuter pass, just so you have the opportunity to use it and not face the hassle of having to find a spot. But this is a paradigmatic shift, I think, for all of us —and when I say ‘us’ I mean commuters. I myself foresee probably going into the office maybe 2.5 times per week.

‘It’s Busier Than People Think’: Officials Re-Examining Main Street Loading Zone

Municipal officials say they’re collecting data to help determine whether to change the parking rules or configuration in a long-discussed area of downtown New Canaan that’s seen a rise in recent years in service-oriented businesses. Members of the Police Commission are asking an officer assigned to the downtown beat to observe the area of Main Street just north of East Avenue in the mornings. Officer Kelly Coughlin will gather information for police and parking officials so they can better understand how heavily a 7 to 11 a.m. loading zone there is used by delivery trucks, and whether those seeking to patronize businesses in the immediate vicinity have ample on-street parking spaces further up Main Street or across it, in front of Town Hall. The main focus is a two-hour window from 9 to 11 a.m., when parking enforcement officers are patrolling downtown New Canaan and several businesses that front the loading zone—including greenology and StretchLab—are open and busy serving customers and clients. “It’s busier than people think,” Coughlin told the Commission at its Jan.

Town To Bring ‘PayByPhone’ Parking App to Short-Term Municipal Lots

Those parking in short-term lots in downtown New Canaan soon will be able to purchase and extend their time through a smartphone app. 

Members of the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously during their regular meeting Tuesday for New Canaan to enter a five-year contract with PayByPhone. 

As it is, those paying to park in lots such as Morse Court and Park Street must physically return to meter machines to add time. With the PayByPhone app, which already is in use at New Canaan Train Station lots, motorists can buy their tickets at the meter machine as usual (or using the app) and then extend their time remotely, officials said at the selectmen meeting. “I expect very high usage,” Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“It was something that a lot of people, even pre-COVID, were asking for. Because a lot of the surrounding towns have this option available to park there. So it has been something that I have been requesting for a while, and I think that the usage will be extremely high, as it was at the train station.

Town Upholds $30 Ticket Issued to Uber Eats Driver

Town officials this month upheld a $30 ticket issued to an Uber Eats driver who pulled into a no-parking zone outside Town Hall to pick up food from Ching’s Table. Vikar Vahora told members of the Parking Commission during a Nov. 5 appeal hearing that he’d circled the block twice before parking in the space up against the Town Hall driveway. “That was probably my first or second ride and I went right across the street from where Ching’s Table is and I was charging on my credit card and I actually attached the receipt to my ticket and my appeal, too, that it was only two minutes that I went in and went out and that when I was coming out you were already writing the ticket,” Vahora said during the hearing, held via videoconference. “I explained to the person that I am an Uber driver, I am new in this area, if you can new please let me go for this time and I will make sure that this will not be happening again.”

The Norwalk Man added that the ticket—issued at 1:58 p.m. on Sept.

‘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.