New Canaan’s highest elected official said Thursday that the town is looking at designating new “parking ambassadors” who would help direct motorists to available spaces downtown.
To be part-time and paid out the Parking Bureau budget, the parking ambassadors would be especially useful in directing out-of-towners to paid lots such as at Morse Court and Park Street, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan.
“Because there is parking available on any given day, and if we can encourage people to go and park either in the Park Street lot or the Morse Court lot, parking, we won’t have so many people being frustrated, saying they can’t find parking,” Moynihan said during a media briefing held in his office at Town Hall.
He added: “You go to Westport on any given day, you can park. You go to Darien you can find parking to go to lunch. And we have parking here, on any given day, but people have the perception we don’t.”
Moynihan credited Police Chief Leon Krolikowski with the idea of creating parking ambassadors.
New Canaan last month installed two-hour parking signs downtown, upping the limit from 90 minutes on Main, Elm, Forest and other streets. The change is designed to address complaints from those who come to the business district for shopping and dining that 90 minutes was insufficient. At the same time, officials have tried to address a persistent problem in downtown New Canaan, where those who work in retail shops, restaurants and service businesses like real estate firms take up the free parking that’s meant to serve their customers and clients. The town last year, at the Chamber’s urging, created new parking permits for downtown workers for the Morse Court and Park Street lots in order to address that problem.