Saying the space wasn’t sufficiently marked, parking officials this month voided a $30 ticket issued to a New Canaan man who’d pulled into a no-parking zone downtown.
Members of the Parking Commission during their Aug. 2 meeting voted 4-0 to void a ticket that had been issued to Edward Neugeboren for pulling into a space in front of the Mobil station on South Avenue that had been a legal spot in the past.
During his appeal hearing, held at Town Hall and via videoconference, Neugeboren said he’s lived in town for 25 years and didn’t realize that the striping had changed in the spot between the South Avenue curb cuts to the gas station.
“There was no sign and I’ve been parking in that spot obviously previously for upwards of 25 years,” he told the Commission. “I went into—my sob story—ran into Dunkin Donuts to get my wife her favorite donuts for her birthday, and ran back out and behold, she was just issuing the ticket as I ran out. So I was unaware that it was illegal. It wasn’t yellow and there was no sign. Some I’m requesting some warning, if you will, since I have an exemplary record regarding tickets, as does my family. Requesting leniency and a warning.”
Commissioners Nancy Bemis, Marley Thackray, Drew Magratten and Kevin Karl—voted unanimously to void the ticket following a very brief discussion.
Magratten and others noted that there’s no sign designating a no-parking zone and that the white angled striping used to block off the spot isn’t as effective as yellow striping.
Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said in response that “regardless of what it had been previously, it is now a no-parking zone, and that’s why the line is at an angle with stripes in it.”
“That means no-parking zone,” she said. “They don’t necessarily have to be yellow. They could be white. It’s what the designation on the ground indicates. A regular parking spot will have a straight line that comes out from the curb at the start and end of the spot. Anything with an angle, anything with lines in it – even if it’s just an angled line coming out from the curb to the edge of the parking spot is still a no-parking zone. And we do not have to have both signs and street markers.”
Even so, Karl noted that the same white stripes designating the no-parking zone in front of Mobil are used in a loading-zone across the street.
Magratten said that some diagonal lines designating no-parking zones are “closer together” than others, and that the lack of consistent striping can be confusing.
“Can we just pick a pattern?” he said.
Commissioners asked Miltenberg who decides whether angled lines meant to designate no-parking areas are white or yellow (they’re usually white now) and whether granite curbs next to such no-parking zones are ever painted as well (no).