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Friday, December 14 News

More permits offered as parking spots reduced on Elm Street

NEW CANAAN — The loss of 15 spots on Elm Street is causing waves and reconfiguring parking across town.

Local business owners, already under stress from increasing rent prices and online retailers, said this would take a toll on foot traffic and customers, not to mention their own parking situations.

“If 15 parking spots have to be taken away, then the town should help us promote our businesses,” said Jules Aspesi, a manager at Taylor’s Luggage for nine years. “It’s too much, and this will affect all the stores and, most importantly, our customers.”

Parking for commuters and shoppers in town has been a perennial issue, but stress increased after a citizen put the town on notice last month for violating a state statute prohibiting cars from parking 25 feet from an intersection that cost the town 15 valuable spots on Elm Street.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, in meetings with local media, had said the town would look at adding 20 permit parking spots to help local commerce employees. The Morse Court and Park Street parking lots will see an increase of 10 spots each.

Parking Bureau Manager Stacey Miltenberg said each lot would now have a total of 35 “commercial” parking permits.

“We do have a waiting list for parking permits in those lots,” Miltenberg said at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday morning. “With this (10-spot increase in each lot) we exhaust both of those waiting lists.”

Miltenberg noted some local commerce employees still park on Elm Street even though they’re encouraged to do so on “business” lots to allow for more clients and shoppers to leave their vehicles on the transited street.

“There are employees who still feel that they shouldn’t be paying for a parking permit at all if they’re working in town,” Miltenberg said. “Even if we offer a permit, they don’t want to walk from the Center School lot.”

Parking permits for the business lots at Morse Court and Park Street are issued at an annual fee of $483. Permits for the other business lot at Center School, situated at the corner of South Avenue, Main Street and Maple Street, go for $150 annually.

Moynihan and fellow Selectman Kit Devereaux both voted in favor of approving the additional parking permits.

Last week, the Department of Public Works reconfigured the outline of parking on Elm Street now with a distinguishable amount of increased space between the intersections and parking spots.

This is the latest in a series of attempts to increase parking availability in town.

Moynihan has pushed for parking availability in town and was one of his primary concerns while campaigning. The Talmadge Hill Road lot by the train station saw 38 meter parking spots become permit parking spots for town residents.

The town has also opted to work with a New Jersey-based mobile phone application “Boxcar” that allows users to park on private property. While approved by Planning and Zoning for a trial period, the plan to roll out Boxcar in property like St. Aloysius Church is expected to begin in September.

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humberto.juarez@

hearstmediact.com

Humberto J Rocha|Reporter

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