Selectmen to consider new parking, pickup policy
DARIEN — The Board of Selectmen is seeking public input as it considers a new policy for parking and pickup at the Darien train station.
“Over the years, we’ve had a number of complaints,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “Some of the violations triggered a thought process about how we should do enforcement activities in our parking lot.”
Drivers picking up people who get off the train as it heads eastbound are creating pedestrian safety issues in the parking lot, she said. The board, which serves as the town’s parking authority, decided it would be best to hear from the public, as they are directly affected by any policy change.
“We want to hear from the public is this an issue we need to address,” Stevenson said.
One policy the board is considering involves a mandate for motorists to adhere to the laws of the state their vehicle is registered in. The state of Connecticut, for example, requires two plates, front and back, to be clearly visible, Stevenson said. Addressing this in a policy will allow the town to issue a citation for drivers who don’t adhere to these laws.
The policy change would affect taxi drivers and regular drivers waiting at the train station, she said.
Town Administrator Kate Buch said the town has previously had disagreements with commuters about the proper display of license plates in the parking lot. There was one case where a nonfunctioning car was left at the station for a year. Having regulations in place could help the town remove a car if a similar situation occurred again, she said.
Another policy change up for consideration is ensuring those in the commuter parking lot park with their license plates facing the road aisle.
“The reason for that is for when we drive through with our license plate reader, the technology will be able to pick it up,” Stevenson said.
The board will also discuss whether the Darien train station needs a designated queuing area for taxis and commuter pickups. Complaints have been received about vehicles waiting to pick up passengers getting off of the north side of the station. A decision on timing and how long people are allowed to park is also open to discussion.
However, the board is unsure if all the problems will be fixed with policy, as creating a waiting area could mean losing a number of parking spots in the commuter lot. Stevenson said the board wants to gather as much information as they can from the Darien community.
“Before we do anything dramatic like taking away a queue line, we want to hear from the public,” she said.
The public hearing will take place Sept. 10 and will include an information discussion on the taxi cab pickup area.