People in Connecticut Care a Lot About Parking Spots

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHLOE COUPEAU - This picture taken on Septembre 11, 2011 shows cars parked near the Mont-Saint-Michel, a Unesco world heritage site, northern France. A dam is being constructed over the Couesnon riverbed which surrounds Mont Saint Michel to flush out certain sediments and upon completion create a reservoir in the riverbed. The Mont-Saint-Michel which attracts 3 millions tourists a year, is France major tourist attraction.  AFP PHOTO DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHLOE COUPEAU - This picture taken on Septembre 11, 2011 shows cars parked near the Mont-Saint-Michel, a Unesco world heritage site, northern France. A dam is being constructed over the Couesnon riverbed which surrounds Mont Saint Michel to flush out certain sediments and upon completion create a reservoir in the riverbed. The Mont-Saint-Michel which attracts 3 millions tourists a year, is France major tourist attraction. AFP PHOTO DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/2011 AFP

Metro North parking spots are scarce, and so, naturally, the good people of Connecticut have turned the possession of one into a status symbol, reports the WSJ.


Dominic Depiano is one of the have-nots. The Fairfield-to-New York City commuter has been on a waiting list for a $340 permit for six years and rushes every morning at 6:30 a.m. to a nearby Knights of Columbus, where he can get a spot for a $4 donation.

"Parking passes are a scarce commodity here—even if people don't need them, they won't give them up," Mr. Depiano said. "So people like me, we wait."

Probably goes home to a dinner of gruel, too.

There have been attempts to fix the supply-demand imbalance, but they haven't gotten terribly far. For instance, there was a short-lived Commuter Rail Parking Task Force. "It went nowhere," said the head of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council. "It was like the war at Vietnam."

Just like it.

Where Spots Are Hot [WSJ]