Taxi headache at the train stations leads to review
DARIEN — The town is looking for ways to deal with the rush hour glut of taxis at the train station.
“I’ve seen traffic backed up,” said Bonnie Frate Dora, a Darien resident who drives her husband to the train every day. “No one can get through.”
Dora said picking him up from his 5 p.m. train can be disastrous due to the taxis. She worries if there’s an emergency on the train this could affect emergency vehicles trying to get through.
At a Board of Selectmen meeting Monday, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said they learned the roadway on the eastbound side of the station is a town road. This means it is subject to enforcement by the police department and perhaps they can take action on the taxis.
“We made one attempt to move the taxis to spots on Squab Lane,” she said. “The taxis didn’t move and we didn’t have the ability to force them to move.”
Stevenson said there was also an outcry of people that use the taxis that felt it was unsafe and dangerous to ask people to walk down the roadway on Squab Lane.
“We talked about parking spaces, but that means giving up commuter parking spaces and that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t queue,” said Town Administrator Kate Buch.
John Sini, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, was unable to attend the meeting, but Stevenson read a statement he sent in.
“I believe there’s an inherent safety issue in that area of the lot,” he wrote.
With redevelopment going on in the downtown area pedestrian activities will only increase and the situation needs to be addressed, wrote Sini.
The train station is currently about to undergo a project to work on the platforms. Stevenson said this could be an opportunity to review the design of the parking lot since there may be less queuing of cars during this time.
In the meantime police can help by swinging by the train station on a daily basis to keep traffic moving, said Buch.
“We will continue to consider this issue and how best to address it,” she said.
New parking regulations
The Board of Selectmen, which is also the parking authority for the town, have decided on two new regulations.
The first focuses on the town’s removal to remove cars from a municipal lot that are not compliant with current law.
“Vehicles parked in a municipal lot must be operative and compliant with applicable laws in the state in which they are registered,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “The Town has the right to remove any non-operative vehicle parked in a municipal lot at the owner’s expense.”
The other parking regulation focused on handing out parking permits.
The new regulation would not issue a town parking permit to anyone who has delinquent motor vehicle taxes and parking violations.
“A parking permit will be issued if all delinquent motor vehicle taxes and parking violations have been paid within five working days from date of notification letter,” said Stevenson.
Applicants will have to submit their proof of payment from the Town of Darien Tax Collector or Parking Division, indicating all taxes or parking violations have been paid prior to issuance of the permit.