Officials eye plan to charge for on-street parking in New Canaan to solve parking complaints

First Selectman Dionna Carlson says the problem is people are circling on Elm Street causing congestion.

News 12 Staff

May 8, 2024, 4:10 PM

Updated 14 days ago


The next time you head to downtown New Canaan and try to park your car, you may be paying for it.
First Selectman Dionna Carlson has proposed the idea to solve some of downtown New Canaan's parking complaints by charging for on-street parking on Elm Street and switching Park Street to free parking.
Carlson says the problem is people are circling on Elm Street causing congestion.
Free on-street parking is available in New Canaan generally with a two-hour limit; there are three-hour paid metered spaces by Elm Street at the Morse Court, Playhouse and Park Street lots among others nearby.
Morse Court also has several short-term 15-minute free spaces available.
Carlson wants to stress there is free parking downtown and wants to make it more visible for drivers.
Parking commission member Katie O'Neill spoke at the last parking commission's hearing and said she was interested in increasing the amount of free short-term parking downtown for anyone just stopping by one of Elm Street's shops for a brief errand.
O'Neill said she heard from some merchants and customers that there was a demand for more short-term parking to encourage faster turnover, saying at least one merchant told her the 15-minute spaces were the most valuable.
Carlson says the budget for these parking changes still has to be approved. She says she doesn't expect these changes to be implemented if approved until sometime next year.

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