To the Editor:
In most parking lots for businesses, a brightly painted area of diagonal yellow lines indicates a no parking area. In Newtown, it serves as an area to park.....at least in the Big Y shopping center, adjacent to Dunkin Donuts and Salon Michelle.
I want to thank Paul Mangiafico, Chairman of the Police Commission, for listening to my concerns regarding continued parking in, what I perceive to be, a no parking area outlined by a brightly painted area of diagonal yellow lines. He shepherded my concerns through the process and to the chief of police. The chief investigated, including a review by fire officials, and it was concluded that this is not a parking violation and the police cannot prohibit parking over the brightly painted area of diagonal yellow lines. The fact that it is not a designated parking area, is apparently not in the jurisdiction of the Newtown Police Department. In truth, the area is primarily abused by the same vehicles, who have it available to them because the majority of respectful drivers keep the brightly painted area of diagonal yellow lines clear.
Vehicles parked over the yellow lines may narrow the entrance to the rear of the buildings and the CVS drive-up window. This could have disastrous results if an emergency vehicle cannot pass.
When the shopping center owner responsibly designated two parking spots for handicapped parking, some were not pleased and the freshly installed handicapped parking sign oddly disappeared! Some will go to extreme lengths for seemingly petty reasons.
In any case, Newtowners are apparently now permitted to ignore any parking line designations, presumably except for fire lane and handicapped parking, without threat of police monitoring. Is this a signal to feel free to use two, three, or four “spaces,” or park any way you wish over the white parking spaces, or the brightly painted area of diagonal yellow lines?
Richard A. English
3 Curry Drive, Newtown February 5, 2014