Neighbors of the pickle ball courts at Cristiano Park are fed up. The sport’s outsized popularity is drawing players to Lyon Ave in Chickahominy, which is a dead end where on street parking is allowed.
The dead end accommodates numerous cars when groups of players arrive and park in tandem.
In comments on Facebook, residents have noted many of the cars have New York plates.
It is possible that Greenwich residents may be inviting their New York friends to play pickleball. Or maybe there are new residents who have yet to change their vehicle registrations.
But the frustration of seeing cars with New York plates arrive on Lyon Ave as early as 7:15am on the weekend is understandable, and the pop-pop-pop of pickleball games is constant, though it doesn’t violate the noise ordinance.
There is a sign clearly posted saying no parking for the ballfield, but the playground and tennis/pickleball courts are fair game.
Residents have taken to using traffic cones and caution tape in response to the parking situation.
This Saturday, two groups of doubles were enjoying the beautiful day on the courts, and the pop-pop-pop of their games echoed up the hill from the dead end.
While Greenwich’s population has pretty much held steady in recent decades, the number of registered cars has increased, and street parking is a highly prized commodity.
And some residents prefer street parking to parking in their driveways, or have more cars than they can fit in their driveways.
In early days, Greenwich was primarily an agricultural community, but After World War I, the automobile took precedence. In 1938, the Merritt Parkway cut through the northern section of Greenwich, followed by I-95 to the south in 1957.
Cow paths were paved over without a thought that families would one day have multiple cars and commute great distances to work, much less that people who live in Cos Cob, for example, would drive to Byram to play pickleball!
For years, Parking Services has tried to contain the spread of residential parking zones because of the ripple effects.
When one neighborhood with residential parking abuts another, the zone with resident parking impacts the adjacent one. And then there is the hassle for residents applying for the stickers and paying a fee. And then there’s the issue of enforcement.
Asked to comment on the parking situation for pickleball players at the end of Lyon Ave, Greenwich Police Deputy Chief Gray, who leads the Dept of Parking Services, said that with the addition of the pickleball courts at Cristiano Park, his department, along with the Parks Dept were considering how best to accommodate the park patrons.
“We recognize that green space inside parks is a scarce resource that impacts everyone,” he said. “The removal of green space inside a park for parking impacts all the users and residents of the town.”
“It is a public roadway,” he added. “Where they’re parking is already paved and not bothering any of the other patrons.”