Daily parkers to get more spots in prime lot
Within weeks daily parkers will have another 23 spots in the downtown Mechanic Street lot, a favored choice for many commuters because it is closer to Metro-North’s southbound platform than much of the station’s Leroy West commuter lot.
The Board of Selectmen approved the change unanimously Monday night after Town Administrator Karl Kilduff explained the change would resolve a conflict between annual permit holders and daily parkers that began earlier this year when the town converted daily spaces in the Leroy West lot into permit spaces.
Daily parkers began monopolizing a group of 17 spaces in the Mechanic Street lot designated for both groups, Kilduff said. The new daily parking spaces will be drawn from a pool of three-hour parking spaces that are underutilized, Kilduff said.
“The goal would be to reestablish the original 17 spaces as permit spaces,” Kilduff said.
The town is also in the third round of names trying to sell a pool of 80 new annual permit spaces it established in April at the Leroy West lot at the train station after receiving lower than expected response to buy the permits. Daily parkers are allowed to use those spaces if they remain empty at 10 a.m.
Since earlier this year, the town has slowly begun to remove names from lengthy waiting lists for the Leroy West and Noroton Heights rail station lots after reaching out with mailed notices asking if they wished to remain in line for a spot. The process has winnowed a 1,500-name list at Leroy West lot at the Darien train station by more than 800 names, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.
Selectman E. Reilly Tierney expressed concern that recipients of letters from the town might not open them, and asked whether the town should be contacting them by phone before deleting their names after a 30-day deadline.
“I know I just get so much junk mail,” Tierney said.
Stevenson said the town did make phone calls to those who were about to be struck from the waiting lists earlier in the process and in most cases got no response. Going forward in the process the town will rely solely on the letters, she said.
“This is like any other important issue in your life,” Stevenson said. “We’re all accustomed to meeting deadlines and for someone who is desperate to get a parking permit it should be a priority to respond to the letter.”