Darien looking to alleviate parking problems
Published 4:26 pm, Thursday, March 31, 2011
Parking for the train stations has always been at a premium, but the Board of Selectmen are taking steps to get residents off the waiting list for permits.
Adminstrative Officer Karl Kilduff told the Darien News that there are about 2,400 on the waiting list for parking permits. However, in an effort to reduce the number of people on the list, the BOS considered a proposal to change 38 voucher spaces into annual permit spaces. The Noroton Heights lot would most likely be the located of the conversion because there was less efficiency in the lot, Kilduff said.
Changing the spaces would result in a deficit in the town's parking fund because voucher parking costs $3 per day and the annual permits costs $345. The resulting loss would equal about $15,000 but wouldn't necessarily require an increase in permit or voucher prices, Kilduff said.
"The amount of lost revenue is relatively small but it would need to be taken from somewhere and that would most likely mean the money would come from the capital projects budget," Kilduff said.
Democratic Selectman David Bayne told the Darien News the idea for switching some of the voucher parking for annual passes parking came during a discussion about raising the annual permit fees.
"I was asked what kind of changes I would make for the parking," Bayne said. "My guess is that many people who park in the daily voucher lot are also annual commuters."
Bayne said changing the 38 spots near the Depot would most likely not happen but was hopeful the issue could be revisited in the future.
"We might not have enough information about who is using the lot," Bayne said.
However, Bayne said he hoped the public would offer some suggestions for reducing the number of residents waiting to get an annual parking pass.
"We have an obligation to relieve congestion on our wait-list," Bayne said. "Hopefully we'll hear back from the public about what they would like to see done."
For those residents who are still using daily voucher parking and are frustrated with paying over $700 a year in parking, the Post 53 lot offers a cheaper alternative.
"We have incentive parking at the Post 53 lot so that people can pay a reduced rate of about $200 to park there," Bayne said. "We're still not selling out that lot, so there are spaces available. The trade-off is that you have to walk a little further."
If any changes were made, they wouldn't occur until January 2012 because the BOS would need to decide whether increases to voucher and permits needed to be made, Kilduff said.