Jan 28, 2008
Mistake of Parking Authority/Lanta
At the Allentown Speak Out forum, Zee, an elderly neighborhood woman, referred to the new Lanta Terminal as Port Authority. She has a point, did Allentown need a Port Authority? In reality the mission of both the Parking Authority and Lanta has become political and distorted, to the detriment of those whom they were intended to serve. I have referred to the Parking Authority in previous posts as a Frankenstein monster who preys on Allentown's poorest residents. Its appetite has recently expanded to include poorer merchants. If it wasn't enough for Lanta to remove the transfer stations from the historical stops near Hamilton Street, the Parking Authority now provides eating and shopping venues for their captured bus riders at the "Terminal". Once upon a time, in Allentown's heyday, the parking meters were monitored by two meter maids in golf carts, employed by the police department. The original mission of the Parking Authority was to facilitate parking for the merchants' behalf. Lanta was suppose to provide the public with transportation to those destinations which enhanced the economic well being of both the riders and the community. The new Allentown Transportation Center fails to serve both the merchants and the riders, conversely, it serves itself by being a mini-mall with virtual prisoners. Allentown City Council now has a member who is on the Lanta Board. The previous Council had a member on the Parking Authority. All the merchants are suffering on Hamilton Street, and already three are closing their doors; City Line Creamery, Hamilton Perk Cafe, and Mish Mash Boutique. The Terminal, new or not, should be closed, and the transfer stops on Hamilton Street should be restored. The public interest is better served by the survival of the Hamilton merchants, than the utilization of the parking deck's adjacent Lanta Terminal.