The daily parking fee on the privately owned parking lot, which is closest to the tracks at the Old Saybrook railroad station, could increase in the near future. The present parking fee, which is $5 a day, could rise to $10 a day, according to Sebastian Lobo, the privately employed, parking attendant at the lot.
Lobo said that even with the increase, the cost for parking at Old Saybrook station would be far less than the amount charged at the New Haven railroad station.
However, a parking fee increase at one of the lots at the station would have no effect on the free-of-charge parking lots at the station, including, the Shore Line East Old Saybrook Commuter parking lot and the AMTRAK parking spaces at the station. Nor would it affect the informal, free parking lot that extends along North Main Street from the Upper Cemetery almost all the way down to the tracks.
As for the 200 new parking spaces, which the state Department of Transportation plans to add at Old Saybrook rail station, it remains undecided as to whether there will be a parking fee or not for these spaces.
The Lot Where They Charge a Parking Fee
The parking lot, where there is presently a $5.00 a day parking fee, is located right next to the relatively new, over the tracks terminal at the station. For train passengers, it is clearly the most convenient place to park at the station.
These parking spaces are owned by Saybrook Realty Partners, whose address is 455 Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook, according to the collection envelopes put under the windshields of the cars parking there.
The border lines around the spaces owned by this group are white in color, and, generally, they are far from full. Obviously, this is because most people parking at the station have found free spaces at other areas of the station.
The Collection Method of Paying for Parking
For those who pay for their parking at the station, there is a unique system of collecting parking fees. First, parking attendant Lobo in his red car scoots around the lot, placing collection envelopes behind the windshields of the cars that are parked there.
These addressed envelopes instruct parkers to do three things: (1) put a $5 per day parking fee in the envelope, (2) place a stamp on the envelope, and (3) mail it.
The formal printed instructions on these envelopes read as follows:
$5.00 Daily Parking fee
Please mail the $5.00 a day parking fee in this envelope. This parking lot is PRIVATE AND NO LONGER FREE. Amtrak travelers may park in the yellow lined designated area or pay the fee to park at will. Parking fees not paid within 14 days will be assessed an additional late fee of $10.00 per day. YOUR LICENSE PLATE HAS BEEN NOTED Violators subject to tow at owner’s expense. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plate Number _______________________________________________
Enforcement Signs Threaten a $150 Fine
Signs around this Railroad Parking Area, as it is called, threaten significant consequences if parking fees are not paid. “Violators Will Be Towed” and a “$150 Fine” will be imposed the signs say around the parking lot.
In an effort to obtain further information about this pay for parking organization, who declined an interview, we posed by email the following questions to Saybrook Realty Partners:
1) How many $150 fines have you imposed on persons who park on your spaces at the Old Saybrook railroad station?
2) How many $150 fines have you collected since you inaugurated a payment for parking scheme at the station?
3) How many cars have you towed for non-payment of parking fees?
4) How successful, generally, has been your return envelope payment system?
Statement by Owner of Saybrook Realty Partners
Mr. David M. Adams, owner of Saybrook Realty Partners, which owns and manages Saybrook Junction, provided the following response, “The [Saybrook Realty Partners’ parking] system has been very effective in preserving the integrity of the parking at Saybrook Junction for our 16 tenants. Saybrook Junction is a private business and has an obligation to provide parking for its business tenants and their customers, while also supporting Amtrak and overflow parking for Shoreline East commuters. We continue to make progress to alleviate some of the parking concerns voiced by our tenants as well as commuters.”
A final article on the parking situation at the Old Saybrook railroad station will discuss the parking spaces that are controlled by the award-winning Pizza Works restaurant at the station. The restaurant has 38 reserved parking spaces close to the tracks.