Apr 6, 2014

Allentown's Hapless Meter Users

It was a rough winter for Allentown meter users, who are mostly the urban poor, concentrated in center city. Although the Parking Authority charges to park, little amenities like removing the snow, are not part of the package. The city has turned into a one trick pony, with every thought only focused on the arena. As part of that obsession, residents will now be pugging the meters till 9:00p.m., pending approval by the Council of Rubberstamps. We are being told that the intention is to potty train the projected arena patrons into using the parking decks, leaving the metered spaces available for other businesses. The Fegley brothers, who are trying their best to get with the city's program, have a few doubts. Ce Ce Gerhart, who lives on metered Walnut Street, knows that she's being penalized. Actually, so are the Fegleys. The arena, which will be used less than half the nights of the year, is making free parking for restaurant patrons a thing of the past. Easton now charges a buck an hour for evening parking, remind me not to eat there.


Anonymous said...

This is a very good way to attract people to downtown.

Anonymous said...

Increasingly it is more and more an inconvenience to live in Allentown.

On my street there are no resident permits so we need to be constantly aware of the constraints imposed upon use by the parking time limits.

Now it is going to be increased by four more hours. Why, so Allentown can garner even more income from a highly regressive and discriminatory form of taxation based on resident income? How is this going to help me a resident.

There are houses on my half block, three in fact, that have no less than four cars associated with them at any time. Parking already is a horrendous issue.

The residents will adapt by default by parking in the alleys. This will only increase the inconvenience of living in Allentown and create an even greater hazardous environment relative to the increased challenge of providing emergency services if needed.

Frequently access to my garage is blocked and I am forced to find my neighbors to move their cars. When I call the police, to have the vehicles towed, they suggest I just wait until they leave. In other words they nor the parking authority choose to deal with the issue. They want the revenue stream but do not want to deal with the resulting complications. Case in point is West Street south of Chew St and extending to Linden St. that is infamous for double parking. Many complaints but never are they addressed.

Over the years I have seen downtown Allentown develop and have heard all the gratuitous statements made about community development. I truly believe the hidden agenda is gentrification. If there is community development I regret that is the form it will come in. By the way I do not support this form of social oppression.

Less desirable older decrepit housing will be razed to make way for yet again another architectural pipe dream. The question is will people really invest in the older housing that remains? Will they be drawn by the rehabilitative potential and make extensive repairs and upgrades to live in the new emerging urban environment? Will we have cutesy urban cafe"s where patrons can safely enjoy a cup of coffee or meal al fresco in warmer weather or will it just be a more sophisticated form of blight?

I guess we will all have to wait and see. I hope it does work so property values increase and I can bail and move to a more humane environment. Getting a little weary of murders, gun shots, machete incidents, drug dealing, drug using, the screaming of obscenities during all hours of the night and day, and the illicit spontaneous sex by teenagers in the back alleys of my neighborhood.

In the mean time I guess we will all have to deal with oppressive tactics of the parking authority and our, oh so well intentioned council people, who seem to just not care.

David Fehr Zimmerman

Julian Kern said...

It is ridiculous. I do not agree with this change. Parking in the city can be a hassle at times as it is. I think it will discourage people from visiting the city since they will have to worry about getting a ticket even later in the evening if approved to go to 9PM. It might discourage residents from going to city meetings since they will have to worry about their vehicle parked outside city hall while in the meetings. Another problem is the 30 minute meters have a sensor that you can only park in the same spot for 30 minutes and then must move the vehicle. You can't just put more money in and gain another 30 minutes. The samething applies for the regular meters but on those you get up to two hours and then must move the vehicle. This just creates more of a hassle for city residents then good. Basically if I attend a city meeting at 7PM and I park in a 30 minute meter spot I am going to have to exit the meeting in the middle of it just to move my car to another spot. That is unacceptable and ridiculous. It is bad enough we must pay to park on a public street that our tax dollars pay for to have to feed the parking authority more money late into the evening hours. Again I am totally against this idea and think it would be a bad move to approve it.

In my honest opinion I think the meters should be removed and instead regulate a parking time limit in certain areas. For example "downtown" they could give a three hour parking limit. That would give residents and people visiting a three hour window to shop and eat "downtown". Certain other areas like outside city hall and the court house could have a time limit as well but I think the meters need to go. Also maybe instead of making things harder for us residents to park the parking authority and the city should brainstorm ideas on how to create more parking for residents and visitors but then again all they care about is the money, when the Executive Director is making 100,000 a year salary I wonder why.

Anonymous said...

My guess is, during events, the decks will have a one price deal ($15?). Therefore, eliminate decks for diner use during events. Feeding meters until 9pm won't please diners either.

After the first full event of each type, many event parkers will try to avoid the decks. The decks are difficult to get out of when everyone tries to do so at the same time.

This will be interesting.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

MM, this is a very interesting topic, Mr.Zimmerman brings even a more human issue? If said alleys and Write aways are allways blocked and known nussences than the city is liable for risk of life do to neglegence to adrress attested de fackto? NOT to mention all the grant grab child care entities that have one way in and that same way out attested de facto? NOT


Patent pending

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a polite tell all Tale of living in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

The parking authority has to make up for lost revenues due to the snow mounds. The snow mounds did not have a license plate to ticket during the winter. The parking authority could not enforce their own year round parking laws so now you must pay. You can pile garbage in front of your house but you better make sure your inspection sticker is up to date because they want to increase the fine. Please don't tell any perspective buyers about the apa....thanks

Anonymous said...

Just one more reason not to patronize the downtown. Not user friendly.
Won't be just another cheerleader.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Why penalize the activity we hope for? A stated goal was supposed to be that they wanted patrons to shop on Hamilton St, too, but it now seems the city and arena managers are more and more trying to ensure patrons park at the arena, shop and eat at the arena, and, if they feel like it, at the very end of the night, hopefully spend a few pennies on the merchants of Allentown. They should leave the meters as they are or, if anything, reduce them so it's more inviting.

Steven Ramos

ironpigpen said...

Sort of way off topic, sort of right on topic ...

Tonight is the home opener for the SEVENTH season of AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

It is a well-known fact that the IronPigs pack the Park all the time and make lots of money in the process.

So, has there been a corresponding increase to the financial well-being of the Average Citizen dwelling in the City With No (Spending?) Limits since the arrival of the local minor league professional baseball team --- or what?



Julian Kern said...

For reasons mentioned so far is the reasons I think the meters should be removed and instead a time limit be put in place for parking downtown. If the city would give residents and visitors enough time to have their car parked downtown without being penalized then more people would eat at the local restaurants and shop at the local stores. The way it is now with the meters just discourages people from wanting to come downtown. I have had arguments about the meters with friends and family. They say other cities do it like Bethlehem and Easton. Just because other cities do it doesn't mean we should and just because other cities do it doesn't mean it's whats best for the city. Like I said it's all about money to them. They don't care about the residents or it's visitors. Until we change that attitude and actually find parking solutions instead of creating more parking problems it is going to have an effect on everyone trying to visit.

Anonymous said...

From the HBO movie, "GOTTI" :

Paul Castellano --- "It's going to cost us another 20 bucks to park this thing. We oughta get into these Manhattan parking lots. It's a license to steal."

Anonymous said...

"If you want less of something, Tax It". That's all a meter is, yet another tax. Free parking at all the malls without the "charm" of Allentown Crime. Democrats at work.