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Main Street is Changing. An Open and Honest Discussion

New Construction, added uses. Who will manage all the parking?

Main Street is changing right before our eyes and there is much more to come- if you’re even briefly paying attention -you know this too.  Over the past few years there have been newly added housing units at the North end of Main Street where Danbury Road meets Main Street. To the south side near the Community Center we’ve seen an expansion of the Aldrich Museum.  What’s happened in between will continue to evolve and positively I’m sure.

Now we have more projects that will impact the center of town with the inclusion of a new library, a new theatre along with a possible new condominium project at the Elms on Main Street too.  All of this sounds exciting and I hope for much success for all these efforts.  What I would like to suggest is a conversation to begin regarding a new parking commission to be created that can begin to manage our present parking inventory and begin to work with some of the new entities and our business community.  I have some great ideas and I can share them with some that are interested in learning more. 

Veterans Park School and parking there is of interest to me as well. A few years ago the Chamber of Commerce and I invited the Parking Commission members of both New Canaan and Greenwich to visit us here and present their success stories. On their walk around our downtown they asked the question and made quite an observation and suggestion, “why is there a school in the middle of your downtown?”  “This is a perfect spot for a parking lot”.

I ask that those of you in the process of examining the use of the schools and in the position to see change made, simply consider exploring a need to create a parking lot a VP.   By creating such a lot there we can move business owners and employees. We can begin to free up parking for customers and the many visitors and users of the downtown area.

These thoughts are  not just about a convenient parking space for any one visitor, but more importantly the impact that all these projects will have on the downtown and the future investment in real parking for the area here.  All I ask is for a conversation at this point, I’m not advocating for tearing down VP but to explore its possible use.

Just as important is to have a discussion and to install a Parking Commission once and for all.  I would like to see a Parking Commission installed so that we can begin to manage the parking and the users we have. Our present “inventory” of parking needs managing and our present “Parking Authority” really has no authority. If you don’t believe me just ask some of its past members.

Along with the upcoming added creations of a new library a new theatre right next door on Prospect Street, a possible new development of condominiums at the Elms Inn property, the many new housing complexes has brought all this to my attention and I hope yours too.

 

Wayne Addessi

Main Street

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Angie September 20, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Isn't it true that the library and movie theater will each have parking lots, much like the old library has had. As well, the condos should all have parking lots and those residents will not drive to town, they can simply walk. I am not sure I understand the logic behind your thinking that we need parking based on those new developments. I will also say, I have lived here in Ridgefield for the past 11 years and never have had a problem finding parking downtown. It may not always be right in front of the store that I would like to go into but part of the beauty of Main St is the walk along it.
Tom Falconieri September 20, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Every time i park in the village i get a ticket. The lines are not wide enough for my DUELIE. So it normally touches the parking lines. Got one about a year ago stormed 400 Main and had it taken care of. I think the line spaces are to small and dont conform to state regs. So with that i no longer shop in this town. I go to danbury where they have no time limits and the correct line spacing. I would rather have needles stuck in my eyes than shop this town.!!!!!
Tom Falconieri September 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Basically the town gave out to many permits without enough parking spaces. Wayne is well aware of this and the rules are always IGNORED. So be it as it may many do not venture to the village and deal with all the BS of getting a ticket or having a hired person mark my tires with chalk and start the stop watch. Shop the village when PIGS FLY!!!
Tom Falconieri September 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Best example is the BRANCHVILLE TRAIN STATION. The LIBERAL KING RUDY was chomping on the bit to get money from it. He finally got it and now it is a ZOO. So i normally move down the line and park for free in another town. Bottom line is the powers to be that reside in 400 Main st have one agenda. TO GET EVERY PENNY OUT OF YOU. TELL ME IT'S NOT TRUE???
paul d. September 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I thought you moved to Alaska, or was it Maine?
Tom Falconieri September 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM
paul d. 7:51 pm on Thursday, September 20, 2012 I thought you moved to Alaska, or was it Maine? And what does your post have to do with the lousy parking and additude of the town officials on this issue. The town is a ZOO and not getting any better. NH by the way!!!
Chester Burnett September 21, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Tom -- you say "Best example is the BRANCHVILLE TRAIN STATION. The LIBERAL KING RUDY was chomping on the bit to get money from it. He finally got it and now it is a ZOO." I park at the Branchville station 5 days a week, and there are fewer cars there now than when it was free. Parking is easier. So how is it a zoo?
John Symon September 21, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Wayne. Why don't you start by using the VP parking areas on weekends and the half of the year there is no school? I think having a school downtown is a good thing. And, to knock down an asset that the town values (the building) at $14 million is nuts!
Tom Falconieri September 21, 2012 at 09:31 AM
The whole town is a ZOO. And i parked their for FREE for 36 Years. But now i moved down the line for FREE PARKING. Their yo go you dont get it. Thats right you are the problem as well as others. Who cares we will just pay. Problem is EVERYWHERE YOU LEAK THEY HOLD A BUCKET. Plain and simple all these liberal DEMOCRATS WANT IS YOUR MONEY. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Now prove me wrong!!!
Bob September 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
A large part of the problem seems to be the lack of proper planning - parking is ignored too often. Did anyone attend a presentation for the new library? When the parking topic came up it was completely dismissed. I guess that means there will be plenty of parking in the library lot. Great, then maybe we can suspend parking on Main Street during business hours to help alleviate the growing severity of traffic jams. Of course, we could have just moved the library, removed the outdated extension and expanded parking in town where it's needed. Since the old Baldacci’s parking lot seems never to get filled, why would anyone think that leveling a $14M school and adding a parking lot would be a good idea? I guess it's always good to listen to out-of-towner’s who don't have a clue. At least then we’d have an excuse for poor planning. Hey, wasn’t the construction company that did the consulting for the new library from Rhode Island? Not only are they from out of town but they are from one of the most corrupted states in the country. The Library Board and voters listened to them! Let’s get their opinion. Then Ridgefield could have a second $20M parking lot, one for each side of Town. Bookends – what an apt description.
Tom Falconieri September 21, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Their is a reason for this argument. WAYNE has a main st business that gets exposure an no where for people to PARK. This is in my view a conflict of interest as usual by people wanting everything and the tax payers to flip the BILL. What else is new in this tow. Other than people dont care any more and as usual the SCAMS PONDER ON!!!
TAB September 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I am still not clear how this commission would differ from the current Parking Authority. Here is a summary of the Authority's duties taken from the Town's web site: The Parking Authority shall have the power to establish rules and regulations for the parking of motor vehicles within the Town of Ridgefield. The Parking Authority shall have the ability to levy fines and lay out parking areas. The parking authority does not have the power to purchase or install parking meters. Any expenses for the parking authority shall be first approved by the Board of Finance and transfers made in accordance with the Charter of the Town of Ridgefield. All leases, purchases, condemnations or other forms of acquisitions must be first approved by the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and Town Meeting of the Town of Ridgefield.
TAB September 22, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Speaking of Branchville and squeezing the public transit user, the Ridgefield Parking Authority approved a $100 premium charge above the yearly parking permit charge of $250 for “early” purchase rights—a 40% increase for commuters. Meanwhile permitted parking spaces are roughly 60% utilized on the weekdays meaning 50 to 60 spaces are empty on a daily basis. Despite this, the Parking Authority is talking of acquiring more land for parking (former pink house location). Well, at least we are getting 24 planter boxes installed at the parking lot as approved by the Parking Authority at its June meeting. Hopefully, pot hole repair is next.
Training September 22, 2012 at 03:05 PM
You kidding? We are charging commuters to park at the Branchville station, and then turning around and using that money to put in flower pots? How about not charging so much to park, and then NOT putting in flower pots? Times are tough, I don't know if anyone noticed, but Connecticut unemployment just went back up to 9%. Ridgefielders are losing their jobs. They are hurting financially. Some of them are going to DESPERATE MEASURES. And we are insisting the commuters look at flowers? And meanwhile the potholes go unfixed? What's going on in this town??
TAB September 22, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Training- If you are a Ridgefield taxpayer, you may have a stake in those flower boxes. See below from April 2012 Parking Authority minutes- are Town Park Department employees being used to maintain said planters? 413/202 PA Meeting minute excerpt PA voted unanimously to install flower boxes at Branchville station lot. Expenses to be paid fromBranchville Station revenue account. Question as to possibility of Ridgefield Garden Club taking responsibility for care and watering of flower boxes at station, or can the town Parks Dept take responsibility. (24) flower boxes to be purchased.
Tom Falconieri September 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM
More TAX dollars wasted as usual. When will the spending STOP. This is another SCAM PERIOD!!!
Dean Mulligan September 23, 2012 at 01:17 AM
yada yada yada, want some cheese with your whine?
Tom Falconieri September 23, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Nope just politicians that dont think us tax payers are their PERSONAL BANKS WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
paul d. September 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Looking at our history with Gov's Rowland and Bridgeport's home grown crook, we should be careful about casting aspersions on our neighbors to the east. The library debate is over. Just in case you missed the vote. But keep complaining.
Wayne Addessi September 24, 2012 at 09:08 PM
A Parking Bureau such as in New Canaan provides a broad range of parking services and facilities to meet the parking needs of the town residents, businesses and visitors.These services include: Enforcing parking regulations, Providing parking information, processing payments for all parking citations and parking permits, responsibility for meter collection, installation and maintenance, issuing annual parking permits for residents and businesses.
Wayne Addessi September 24, 2012 at 09:15 PM
In Ridgefield, we haven't even begun to manage our own parking lots efficiently enough. For example we should create zones that would designate where business people would park thereby moving vehicles away fro m their businesses and free up parking fro shoppers . If for example the Library was designated as zone 1, permits were issued to business owners and employees then they would need to lark at the Library. We can barely afford to hire a monitors here to walk the streets and monitor the lots. By managing what we have, issuing parking permits for a fee, we can then begin to generate in income for the Parking Bureau which in turn can hire a staff to manage and work to begin to manage our parking as a business. The present structure of the PA nor its members has the ability or time to take us to the next level which is really what is needed. A Parking Commission: Would recommend rules and procedures regarding Town off-street parking facilities to the Board of Selectmen. Recommend acquisition of land by purchase or lease for off-street parking. Consider gifts or other devises of land or money for parking and make recommendations concerning these matters to the Board of Selectmen. Recommend to the Board of Selectmen the establishment of fees and rules governing Town-owned parking facilities. Recommend the installation of parking meters if and when needed.
sebastian dangerfield September 24, 2012 at 09:52 PM
The library debate is over. Just in case you missed the vote. But keep complaining. Kind of like you and George w bush who left office nearly 4 years ago?? Just a reminder about paul d's credibility. Of 200 criticisms, 200 have been of republicans. 0 of democrats: haha Awesome --more of the same incredible logic and intelligence. paul d. 1:59 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012 I just got an email from a friend of mine who said to ask you, "Is it true that you (Luca) are some strange lady from Darien?" paul d. 9:55 am on Friday, January 13, 2012 You may find it unbelievable that people vote for democrats, but that attitude towards our neighbors and community democrats is one thing very wrong with us and our Republican party. paul d. 8:38 am on Friday, January 13, 2012 I am a Republican. I agree 8-30g is wrong. The difference between us is that I hold our party responsible as a contributing factor for its passage and want the elected republicans who were in office and did nothing to stop it, replaced. Period. paul d. 8:34 am on Friday, January 13, 2012 Between the two of you maybe you can answer this question: Why does the democrat party dominate? So far you said, "Unions." Believable? No. Not when Rowland and Rell were the Governors for as long as they have been. Yes, I - as a Republican - can criticize my party for not doing enough.
paul d. September 25, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Sniffle. Sniffle. (Luca) Joyce - Try this on and see why the republican party left me, not the other way around. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81320.html You and Tom F. are the epitome of the current republican machine. You hurt my feelings when you say we are alike. Sniffle, sniffle.
July September 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Actually...... I think the library debate has just begun. Ground breaking was supposed to be in July. Now it is scheduled for October. Several months of delays before they even broke ground. Imagine the possibilities. No my friends... this library debate has barely gotten started.
sebastian dangerfield September 25, 2012 at 04:37 AM
pauld I frankly think you can leave for any number of reasons. I honestly dont care. But, Im calling you out for lying and saying that you were a republican. Im not sure you ever were, but it doesnt matter. A political party is not a prison sentence. It's not a race. Its not a color. Its a choice. if you changed your mind, or never were a republican, thats fine. But your decision to try to appear an objective in deriding the republican party, by being a republican is dishonest. Now, you can decide to deny that dishonesty, and perpetuate the lies---or you can show some integrity, some honesty and acknowledge that you cant have credibility and lie. Now, I have never been Jyce or anyone else...and yet you seem to be obsessed with this concept that I may be deceptive in my attribution. Dont you find that hypocrital at best? I went back to read Joyce's statements, and again, I dont get why you think Im her, as we disagreed on our stances. Its beyond bizarre...but feel free to maintain your assertion, if it allows you some pleasure in your life.... it certainly has not affected my posts or what i have to say.... I also cannot for the life of me understand why you think I would tell people from darien patch i live in ridgefield and i tell people in ridgefield patch i live in ridgefield, if i lived in darien. I own property and a biz in darien..so the issues there concern me. But your friend emailed you. so why dont you ask your friend? hahahah
Tom Falconieri September 25, 2012 at 09:42 AM
Actually you are 100% correct as i believe the cost over run will eventually be bestowed on us TAX PAYERS. Your thoughts are correct this is just the TIP OF THE BOONDOGGLE!!!
Bob J September 26, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Wow. My only observation is that I've never had a problem finding a space and I am in town 7 days a week. Sometimes I have to walk a little further, but there is no shortage of parking.
Sara September 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
“why is there a school in the middle of your downtown?” “This is a perfect spot for a parking lot”. This sentence sounds like a bad joke...now I can't get Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" out of my head.
Sam Adams September 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Tom F....please switch to Sanka. I take you're Tea Party Man...Democrats are the root of all evil...yadayadayada. You must have been pisssssed at GW when he put the nation on the brink and set a course of endless deficits....oh I forgot, Obama did that. Go Park your "DUELIE" in a Red State where people buy your nonsense.
Tom Falconieri September 27, 2012 at 09:32 PM
SAM SAM SAM this town is in the RED for 131 MILLION and the state for BILLIONS. The O Man has spent us in to 16 BILLION worth of red ink and you tell me to switch to SANKS. What is wrong with your thinking WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Weather i park my DUELIE or you park YOUR PRIUS in a red state it wont change the 16 Billion in red TAPE. Or should i say RED INK. AND YOU HAVE CLUE!!! Better get you facts straight. I have a bridge in Brooklyn i can sell you cheap. Dems CLUELESS AS USUAL!!!

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