Norwalk business owners say new pay-to-park rules slash profits

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Some business owners Norwalk say that the city’s new pay-to-park rules are taking away from their profits.

The rules recently went into effect on Main, River and Wall streets. Drivers must pay 50 cents an hour to park and an additional 35 cents above that if they use a parking app. It used to be free.

Main Street convenience store owner Dharmesh Patel says that his customers do not want to pay to park for five minutes, so they just don’t come to his store.

“They’re always afraid to get like a ticket or something, as soon as they go inside,” he says.

Buckley Ryan, who owns nearby Banc House and BJ Ryan’s, says the pay for parking rules have gotten so frustrating in such a short amount of time that some businesses have threatened to move.

“Paying to park in the first place is an inconvenience and added expense to a non-thriving part of town,” Ryan says.

Both owners went to a hearing Thursday night to express their concern to Norwalk officials.

Mayor Harry Rilling says that he has talked to local businesses about their concerns and is willing to make a change.

"We don't want to harm our small businesses in the downtown area,” he says.

Rilling says that he has suggested up to 30 minutes of free parking and has expressed concerns to the chairman of the parking authority.

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