Feb 24, 2008

Frankenstein Fails Polygraph

The monster, aka Allentown Parking Authority would be hard pressed to pass a polygraph test. In 2005, the former and current director of the Authority, testified in front of City Council that the majority of the merchants wanted the meter rate increased. They lied*. The Authority has always functioned for the betterment of the BIG BOYS on the backs of the smallest among us. In 1991 the Authority purchased the 13 parking lots owned by the declining Park N Shop for well over market price. Profiting from the buyout was Morning Call owner Donald Miller, Department store heir John Leh the 35th, Harvey Farr, and a few other good old boys. Keep in mind Hess's and Leh's department stores had their own parking decks, and the meters penalized the small merchants. Today the monster feeds on Allentown's poorest residents. Meters still extend out to 10th and Chew, 5 blocks well beyond the closest store. Over 100,000 tickets a year are issued to Allentown's poorest, mostly the intercity tenants. Now, 15 years after serving the needs of the BIG BOYS, the Authority again schemes for the connected. Now they give away the lots so that developers can have free to cheap KOZ opportunities. The new housing at 8th and Walnut was at the expense of the existing homeowners who used those lots as off street parking. The protest which came from a neighborhood group out of St. Pauls Church was labeled as naysayers to moving Allentown forward. Years ago the Authority paid millions for the lots, paid for them by aggressively ticketing the poor, and now are giving them back to the rich. The current plan is to "sell" a lot at 7th and Linden, used by the Verizon employees, so a developer can make a few bucks on unneeded townhouses.
Easton is beginning to realize their Parking Authority needs scrutiny. If they thought about it more, they may wonder why a town that size even needs an Authority at all. Please join me this wednesday Feb. 27, 4:00 pm at the Monsters house, 10th and Hamilton Sts., to support the Verizon workers attempt to retain their safe and convenient parking.

* I conducted a survey at that time, 40 out of the 47 merchants were opposed to the meter increase.(figures corrected since posted earlier today- actual survey will be posted in near future)

UPDATE: A small metered lot on 9th St., right off of Hamilton was given to Butz, another small lot on 8th was given to Brew
Works. These assets, intended to benefit the entire shopping district, are being given out by the Administration,
through the Authority, almost as party favors.


Anonymous said...

Let me see if I have this straight . . . lots were purchased at above-market rate, and now, a few years later, the lots are being re-sold at a discount to developers so they can turn them into townhomes?

What was the justification for purchasing the lots in the first place?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:50, i accidentally published the posting before i was done writing, however i don't think it affects your question. one reason given at the time was to keep the property out of the hands of absentee owners from out of town. the question NOW is do we need townhouses at 7th and linden? would not Allentown's interest be better served by continuing to provide the Verizon workers ( last large employer on Linden St.) safe, convenient parking?