Although the shopping district in Allentown has shrunk down to only Hamilton and 7th Streets, the meter district remains as it did during the heydays of the 1950's. The meters extend from Walnut to Chew, from 5th to 10th, well over 1000 meters in 20 sq. blocks. Parking meters extend out to 10th and Chew Sts, three full blocks beyond the closest store. These meters are a defacto penalty for the residents, mostly tenants. In essence, it is a back door tax on Allentown's poorest citizens. The apologists claim the tenants can purchase a resident meter pass, however their friends and visitors cannot. To add insult to injury, in 2005, to help finance a new parking deck for the arts district, the Parking Authority doubled the meter rate and fines. Testimony to City Council permitting the rate increase indicated it was favored by the merchants. At that time I documented to the Council that in fact the merchants were not informed, much less in favor. The vote was 5 to 2, with Hershman and Hoover dissenting. An article in today's Morning Call states the buses will not return to Hamilton Street because of congestion; there is no congestion. Pawlowski states the bus stops are not a city issue, that is simply a pathetic excuse. On September 18, I commented on Peter Schweyers blog that the merchants are being hurt by the new Lanta Terminal, he did not respond; he is unfit as a candidate for city council.
UPDATE: It should be noted that the article in the Morning Call stating the bus stops on Hamilton St. are gone for good was assigned to and written by their transportation writer, as opposed to Paul Muschick, the city beat reporter. This is the Morning Call's way of saying that Pawlowski's position=Morning Call's position=Pawlowski position.
UPDATE: In the Morning Call article Mr. Schweyer states business has improved in the 100 block of 7th St. because of the new terminal. There is only 1 store in that block, one half block away and on the other side, on the far corner of Turner st. That block is the worst in Allentown, 95% vacant. Apparently, Pawlowski and his chosen council candidate, both feel the merchants and public do not even deserve honest answers.
CORRECTION: In the barren landscape of the 100 block I overlooked three businesses. Near the Freedom Grocery Store, which I refer to in the previous update, there is also another small market, Mercadito's Mex. Neither merchant reports an increase, but they hope the new terminal helps them. On the terminal side there is a small hardware store, dressed up, probably from a facade grant(could we see another press conference there soon?) Lastly, and most important, I forget the 7-11. The owner believes he might be selling more coffee in the morning, perhaps his business has improved "1%". I didn't have the heart to tell him about the upcoming subsidized Dunkin Donuts.