Town To Increase Parking Meter Rates Downtown

Town officials say they plan to increase parking meter rates in downtown New Canaan, as well as the amount of money that motorists will pay for eight types of violations. 

The meter rate increases follow from a state sales tax of 6.35% that “the town has been eating” since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg. The town has not increased the meter rates in many years, she told members of the Parking Commission at their March 1 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. The rates will change as follows, she said: 15 minutes (25 to 30 cents), 30 minutes (50 to 55 cents), 45 minutes (75 to 80 cents) and one hour ($1 to $1.25). The six-hour flat rates for parking in three business lots—Playhouse, Park Street and Morse Court—will increase from $3 to $3.50, while two lots on the edge of the downtown, at Center School and Locust, will go from 50 cents to 55 cents per hour, she said. The increased rates will go into effect April 1, Miltenberg said.

Parking Commission Forgives $25 Ticket Issued to Salon Customer 

The Parking Commission during its most recent meeting voided a $25 ticket that had been issued to a Stamford woman who overstayed a two-hour time limit on Burtis Avenue. Sandra Francese told members of the Commission during their Feb. 1 meeting that the morning of Dec. 9 (a Friday) was only her second visit to The Vault salon on Burtis. “My first time was at night, so part of parking where I did, I either didn’t realize that there were parking restrictions at the time, or maybe when I came at night the restrictions were a little bit different,” Francese said during her appeal hearing, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

Parking Commission Voids $30 Ticket Issued to Local Commuter

Parking officials last week voted to void a $30 ticket issued in January to a local commuter. Matt Miller had paid for his parking in the Railroad Lot on Monday, Jan. 23 and Tuesday, Jan. 24, officials said at the Parking Commission meeting, held last Wednesday at Town Hall and via videoconference. But he had inadvertently entered wrong space numbers each time, Miller told the commissioners during an appeal at the meeting.

Local Holiday Shopping Boost: Town Designates Free Parking in Municipal Lots Through Dec. 27

The town has designated free parking in all municipal lots through Dec. 27, officials say. Members of New Canaan’s Parking Department are placing signs on meters in town to let shoppers know they don’t need to pay. Carl Franco of Francos Wine Merchants on Elm Street said he was “very happy that the Chamber of Commerce worked out with the town free parking for all municipal lots.”

“I think that will be very inviting for the shoppers to give one last boost to all the merchants in town,” Franco said. The designation, which took effect Monday, follows an unexpected loss of some parking and traffic difficulties late last week due to utilities work on Elm. 

Laura Budd, executive director of the Chamber, said the “last few days before Christmas are very important to our retailers.”

“The Chamber and the municipality wanted to remove all barriers to our residents and visitors who are shopping local for all their last-minute holiday gifts,” Budd said.