More permit parking, surveillance cameras on track for Darien RR stations
Updated 11:09 am, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Other things -- like more permit parking and surveillance cameras -- are on track at the town's railroad stations besides trains.
Along with approving funds to install the new cameras to monitor the Darien and Noroton Heights depots, the Board of Selectmen -- acting as the Parking Authority -- is considering plans to convert a large number of the daily parking spaces into permit parking.
In another effort to start shorten the years-long waiting list for railroad permit parking spots, the authority unanimously approved a new policy that will require a $10 fee to keep a person's name on the list.
"Other communities have been discussing this policy," First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said Monday, adding that imposition of a processing fee is designed to encourage people to take action one way or another.
While it intends to fine-tune the wording, the authority plans to do a mailing to the approximately 2,700 people on the waiting list for rail parking spaces.
"The assumption is that no response equals deletion," said Karl Kilduff, administrative officer. "That is in line with how our regional peers respond to no responses," with a 30-day time limit on a response.
Selectman Susan Marks stressed the importance of making sure people know it is vital they respond to this one letter.
"It's the individual's responsibility," Kilduff said. "If the individual didn't pay attention, it is what it is ... They're going to the bottom of a 10-year waiting list."
Selectman E. Reilly Tierney concurred. "If it's important to get that permit, (they) should pay attention to it," he said of the letter.
"This is going to require a regulation change and a public hearing," Stevenson noted, suggested it be mailed on town letterhead.
The Board of Selectmen gave unanimous approval to transfer $40,000 from the capital projects account to buy 16 surveillance cameras to set up around each railroad station.
"The idea is to place these cameras in areas where we can view the platforms, the parking areas and inside the train stations themselves, and in the case of Noroton Heights, the overpass that goes to the train station," said Ed Gentile, director of the Department of Public Works.
The cameras would keep three weeks of history at their designated locations and would be accessible for real-time viewing by Stevenson, Gentile, the Police Department and select others.
"I think this is really long overdue," said Selectman Gerald Nielsen. "There's been a lot of incidents in our parking lots over the years and this will be a deterrent."
Gentile said he worked in cooperation with Westport, which has cameras in place at its railroad stations.
"Camera security at the train station has been a priority for me ever since the tragedy at the Noroton Heights train station," Stevenson said, referencing the still-unclear circumstances surrounding the death of a man who was struck by a train there.
"The thought process for the surveillance cameras is a deterrent of crime, if you will," Gentile said, noting that signs also will have to be posted informing the public of the cameras.
"I would anticipate that it would exist at the communication center as a video feed ... but I want to be clear that there's no intention of having someone sitting at a video monitor monitoring the feed live, unless there was a need to do so," Stevenson said.