Town officials this month upheld a $150 ticket issued to a Wilton woman who had parked in a space on Elm Street designated for disabled people.
Marie Donahue during her appeal hearing told members of the Parking Commission that a FedEx truck was parked next to the space, located in front of the Playhouse and designated only by a sign and not by blue paint in the street itself, when she pulled up on the morning of Dec. 28.
“I passed the truck and the truck was apparently obstructing the handicapped sign,” she said during the Jan. 10 hearing, held at Town Hall.
“So yes, I was parked there but I did not see the sign. I had gone past the spot, and then backed in and got out of my car and went around the front of my vehicle … The FedEx truck was obstructing this sign.”
Ultimately, the Commission voted 4-1 to uphold the ticket. Chairman Keith Richey, Secretary Pam Crum, Stuart Stringfellow and Peter Ogilvie voted to uphold. Chris Hering voted to void, saying he did so only because he wanted all disabled spaces in town marked consistently with both signs and paint.
Though Donahue brought photos of various parking spaces in downtown New Canaan designated for people with disabilities, in order to show the differences among them, the Commission virtually never voids tickets when motorists without permits park in them.
Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said that under state law, “the markings on the street do not govern a handicapped spot.”
“My understanding is, signs rule,” she said. “So even if there are no markings on the street, you go by the signs.”