East Haven Residents Voice Beach Parking Concerns

Cosey Beach in East Haven gets very busy this time of year. But neighbors say as visitors pour in all the extra people and their cars are making the streets unsafe.

"We need to enforce the parking down here for the residents and try to straighten out some of the problems," said Joe Santino, a member of East Haven's town council from the 2nd district. "There's safety issues where fire apparatus can't get down the road because there's cars on both sides."

Resident Michelle Lettieri described a scene where this exact situation occurred two weeks ago on Cosey Beach Avenue. "When the fire trucks came down there were obviously cars parked on both sides of the street," she said.

She says both sides of the street were full and an ambulance had nowhere to go. The ambulance was trying desperately to get to someone who was having an allergic reaction.

"Somebody is seriously going to get hurt or worse and I don't want that because it's a beautiful area," Lettieri said.

She says there are directions for non-residents on where to park. But residents say nobody follows these rules, particularly on East Haven Street.

Dozens of residents showed up at a community meeting Thursday night to voice their concerns over these issues to the police department. They also complained that non-residents take up spots that should be reserved for residents.

According to East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee, there will be an uptick in enforcement in the beginning of July. He says they'll do the best they can to deal with the problem he considers a big nuisance. But it’s difficult for police to determine who’s from out of town and who’s a resident.

"For them I understand. They have to live there. They have to listen to this at night. They have to experience the fact that they can't get into a parking space," Chief Larrabee added.

One proposed solution is to have non-residents pay to park, hopefully reducing the number of people parking in the neighborhoods.

"We have to find a way; a middle to make everybody happy and keep the area safe," Lettieri said.

Neighbors say they're going to bring up the idea of parking fees at a meeting with police next week.

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