‘The Signage Was Unclear’: Parking Ticket Appeals


Parking on Elm Street. PW photo

The following appeals recently were submitted to the New Canaan Parking Commission by ticketed motorists. 


“I am writing to appeal a parking ticket received on 12/29/2020 for parking in a spot reserved or Electric Vehicles. The reason I am applying the ticket is because of the lack of clarity from the signs that reserve the parking for plug-in vehicles. My brother, who is visiting from PA (a state where there is no legislation for reserved plug-in vehicle charging) was the one who had parked our vehicle before meeting myself (a New Canaan resident) in town. When I met with him, no more than 10 minutes after he had parked, he told me about his confusion with the signage. We promptly returned to the vehicle, as I suggested we move the car to be safe. When we arrived at the car we had already received a ticket. You can see at the top of the photo below (which was exported from my iPhone cameras role on 12/29/20) that the time stamp reads 1:54 PM—five minutes after the ticket was issued. I believe this ticket should be dismissed as the signage was unclear, particularly for individuals who are visiting our town from places where there is no legislation for reserved plug-in parking. As you can see from the photos below, the spot to the left of where our vehicle was parked had a clear sign that stated ‘RESERVED. Electrical Car Charging.’ To the right was a sign that stated ‘Plug Your Ride’ with no clear language indicating that the spot near it was reserved. Neither sign was directly in front of the spot he chose to park. Furthermore, as you can see from the time stamp on the ticket and from photo of when we moved our car, we took up the space for less than 10 minutes.”

—(New Canaan resident)


“I went downtown to support local diner who had no customers. Whole street open for parking at 8:45 a.m. Saw handicap parking sign and backed up to it to leave parking open for others. No notice of loading zone til 11. Tried to do right thing and leave street open.”

—$30 for loading zone on Forest Street, at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 23 (New Canaan resident)


“I am the new owner of a gallery in town, and as a new business artist, I was carrying a massive canvas out of my Suburban and was double parked for (at the most) a minute and a half, to move the heavy piece into my shop. During that brief time [the parking attendant] began a ticket. I understand there is a loading dock, however, as a solo owner, I could not carry such a heavy item that far to my gallery. Small businesses need support right now more than ever. And within the small limited time I was parked, I could not have caused traffic issues.”

—$100 for double parking on South Avenue, at 12:17 p.m. on Nov. 20 (New Canaan resident)


“I left my Grace Community cloth bag with $40 worth of Christmas stamps in it — as I went to get book with Melissa @ Elm Book Store, then had briefly thereafter at More More store, both legally parked. Only when I returned to my car I noticed I only had paper bag Elm Bookstore. So walked back to Bookstore from legal park place. They said ‘someone must have taken it’ — then I returned to the car to see was it perhaps still in car – no. I then drive through Elm Street, put blinkers on and run into ask Donna did you see my white cloth Grace Church bag? She said no. I literally ran in and out of store and then received a ticket = blinking lights on. I have lost my property, I did not not park to shop, hopeful find my bag in store, etc etc.”

—$50 for double parking on Elm Street, at 2:01 p.m. on Dec. 10 


“I hope all is well. My husband I and I were just in New Canaan to return one item at Taylor’s Luggage on the corner of elm. He parked the car on the right hadn’t corner of the street where there is a handicapped spot. I was sitting in the car with my two dogs and the hazards on. We were parked there for all of about 45 seconds and within that timeframe the parking cop wrote a ticket from behind the car. Immediately when I saw her I got out of the car and she stated she didn’t see me in the car, there was nothing she could do because the ticket was already written and I should appeal the ticket. I am hoping someone could be graceful and forgive this mistake of a ticket for $150. It would be greatly appreciated… I also have the time that the ticket was written and the time that the transaction in the store was complete via receipt. The parking cops ticket for 14:02 and the store receipt was printed at 14:01.”

—$150 for handicapped zone, at 2:01 p.m. on Sept. 3 (Norwalk resident)


“On 9/24 I parked my car at the Park St lot in New Canaan as I was interviewing for a job. I have not parked there before and when I went to pay the machine said we didn’t need to pay so I didn’t. When I returned 30 mins later I received a ticket for not having a permit. I am a little confused as to why as there were no signs. If I would have seen one I would not have risked getting a ticket. Please can you excuse this ticket, I would be very grateful as its quite expensive.”

—$30 for no permit in the Park Street Lot, at 1:41 p.m. on Sept. 24 (Westport resident)

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