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.
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.”
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.
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