Today's Connecticut section of the New York Times features an article about Darien Library's hybrid parking spots.  The article references the feedback on our website about the spots and the confusion surrounding the types of vehicles that our users are encouraged to park in them.

After considering the feedback we've received, we'd like to clarify several issues and make you aware of some of the changes we've made in response.

  • The preferred parking spots are not exclusively for hybrid cars, even though the sign says so.  They are meant to be used by environmentally-friendly vehicles.  Please see the list of 474 cars that are LEED certified for eligibility for preferred parking.
  • No punitive action is taken when a non-preferred vehicle parks in a preferred spot.
  • Our staff will not ask anyone to move their car from a preferred spot.
  • If no other parking space is available, we invite visitors to park in those spots, regardless of the type of vehicle they're driving.
  • The preferred parking spaces are part of a larger "green building" initiative that includes a number of proactive steps that the library has taken to benefit the environment.  Dot Kelly, one of our board members, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Darien News that explains the LEED gold certification process.

In response to comments and feedback, we have already moved three preferred parking spaces away form the building into the middle of the parking lot.  Additionally, because of the confusion caused by the wording of our current signs ("Preferred parking for hybrid vehicles"), we have ordered new signs that will simply say "Preferred Parking" and feature a car with a green leaf (see image).  The signs are designed to allow our visitors to make the determination as to whether they are entitled to park in those spots.  Though we hope that our users will respect the preferred parking, we want everyone who comes to the library to feel welcomed and apologize if our current signs sent a message to the contrary.

Our new signs will be installed before the end of the month.

Comments

Love the new signs!

We hope many will carefully read your timely clarification here, as well as the list of vehicles that qualify. We think the new signs are a good idea, and still hope the old signs can be re-used, since the whole idea is to be green in general. This whole issue has been great "fuel for thought" for our community. It is too bad we made it into the NYT because of the controversy about these signs and not because of our leadership as a community and coming together to make small differences in our environment. And for those opposed to the concepts these signs encourage, soon after 2016, when Obama's new fuel efficiency standards start, these signs will hopefully be obselete and this conversation will be a funny tale from "the old days." In a town with so many other elitist attitudes about our schools and sports and affordable housing/NIMBY comments, it is a shame that a few parking spots at the new library have taken the hit for being elitist! I love the ideas about "greening" the auction next year - that will be a creative challenge and worthwhile to boot. To the library staff endeavoring to be green, we say, keep up the good work!

2000-2009 LEED Vehicles List

I am curious as to where this list comes from as I would like to see how a vehicle qualifies for the list.

Cars that qualify for green parking

The cars that qualify for the LEED certified "preferred parking" are low emitting/fuel efficient vehicles with a minimum score of 40 on the ACEEE annual vehicle rating guide for environment friendly cars. See www.greenercars.org for more information.

Take them down

Finally, after all these years, the library has done something that irks me. My vote, (if I had one),would be to remove the Preferred Parking signs. I believe the Library is overstepping its bounds with these signs. I for one don't think the library should play the role of social engineer.

Why Our Actual MPG Never Hits The CAFE Levels...

I wish we could follow our feelings and emotions - it would be nice - but, unfortunately, we cannot. Science must guide us. I have a nice economical car that has 32 highway and 26 city MPG ratings but I actually average only a little over 20 MPG. Why? Al Gore and the political phonies would say that we drive too fast, that its somehow our fault. But, this is not true. The 10% ethanol gives us 0 MPG - ZERO! Plus, its more expensive and ecologically irresponsible. ARGGHHHH - get the politicians, beaurocrats and opportunists out of our pockets! Oh, also, take the signs down. Its nonsense.