Sep 19, 2009

Parking Authority Preys On Poor

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
* I used the above copy on my posting of October 3, 2007. In the past several weeks the Parking Authority finally removed the meters in the 900 block of Chew St, 50 years beyond their legitimate need.

There's a new thorn in the side of the Parking Authority, his name is Craig Friebolin, and here's his message

Come One, Come All! To what may just be the greatest show on earth! The Wednesday September 23, 2009 - Allentown Parking Authority Board Meeting at 4pm! I'll be there (with a few others) to amaze and astound you! It will be a board meeting like none you've witnessed before! Chock-full of News Worthy information the general public WANTS TO KNOW! While it may not be the Jerry Springer Show; Tempers will Flare and that always makes for entertaining news, right?


Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. Would love to attend.

Also, the city has instituted a new policy where water is turned off when only a relatively small balance is unpaid.

Notification is at the bottom of a letter sent from city hall, via regular mail.

At least UGI has the decency to deliver a door hanger and will visit the residence prior to the shut off.

I was told it is due to the fact that the City of Allentown is running out of money and is doing what ever it can to generate revenues as they come due.

Do their accounts payable run longer than their accounts receivable?

This will raise hell with the residents of the great economic divide in Allentown. That is zip code 18102 including 18101, commonly referred to as Center City.

One of these days Armageddon is going to come and the city will not be able to handle the fall out. Increasing disparities in income and an increasing number of poor in the city is not a good thing.

It is not good for anyone.

LVCI said...

My little story: Years ago when we lived in the 600 block of N. Popular Street we awoke to find a sign tied to my porch railing. It stated all cars must be moved by 8:00 AM. Looking out the front window at 7:30 AM I saw my car was already ticketed. So I took the sign off MY PORCH RAILING to show the girl at the desk downtown what it said and pointed out to her that on my parking ticket was written that it was ticketed at 7:15 AM.

Too bad she, said. I started to get a bit pissy with that answer when she threatened to call police because I had removed a public sign. Hey it was on my PRIVATE PROPERTY. She backed off the that but not the ticket. That's when my mother-in-law (who was with me) piped up about calling her neighbor of 30 years (a city councilman). Oh alright she tore it up and raised her voice to get out of there.


We had two choices (on 2 separate occasions) over the last month when we wanted to buy some specialty grocery items and some yarn. Choice #1 drive downtown and loop the block several times looking for a metered parking space and hope the car's still there when we get back.
#2... go to Emmaus who has removed all of their meters. No brainer, eh? Not only that, what Emmaus has done to their Triangle is beautiful. Benches, fountain, etc.

Meters are so 50's. Other municipalities have been removing them. Allentown has enough serious traffic violations with double parking, wrong way parking, loading zones, yellow lines, hydrant, etc. to keep them very busy and actually are far more important to the welfare of the city.

This department needs to be re-integrated back under the authority of the police department that can actually use the fines to fight crime. REAL police assigned to traffic duty can be used as 'boots on the ground' so as to be a further deterrent to the ever growing street crimes.

Perhaps a way for a rookie to start out on a lower pay scale till a better position opens up on the force.

michael molovinsky said...

i believe the parking authority has had an adverse effect on hamilton street business for many years through over aggressive enforcement.
i know the tucker yarn family will not be happy reading these comments.
the current administration has prevailed upon the authority to favor certain pet projects such as the brewpub with a private lot, the other merchants they could care less about.
the authority board of directors are pawlowski sycophants

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Mr. Molovinsky. In one comment section, you are a racist for being concerned about downtown's deterioration and yet when you mention there are more than how many...1,000 meters that prey on the poor, you are a hero. Go figure. We need a meter detective. Someone who has a few free hours to put money in meters along one street and test the accuracy of the timers. I've put money in meters only to have the meter jam and no way to do anything about it but be forced to get back in the car and find another open spot. The meters are old, dirty, and the glass portions unreadable. If a business tried to cheat its customers with charging more for a “timed” service than really given, they’d face charges.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us more about the water being turned off without
certified letter notice. Are you sure about this? Is this legal?

Anonymous said...

How can the city even prove it has given due notice to a water customer if the notices are sent via regular mail. And like so many issues, it hurts children the most.

Anonymous said...

It happened to a friend of mine. Nothing, Nada, and no door hanger.

A registered letter, from this administration? Are you kidding me. I doubt if Eddie knows where the post office is.

Then she had to pay the whole bill which was no biggie. She said she had run it up to that amount many, many times before.

The people who took care of it at the city were very nice and helpful. I think they were genuinely embarrassed. They said this was a new policy to generate CASH.

You are right this is going to hurt a whole lot of people. But Eddie wants his money.

I believe this is one of the ideas that came out of a communal Blue Ribbon panel fart that was recorded into voice recognition software on Eddie's computer.

The guy is such an incredible incompetent. He has done nothing for the city except agitate and antagonize what citizens are left.

Maybe after he is gone someone will do the city a favor and steal his picture from the council hearing room and trash it.

Hell he won't be around to complain. We love you Eddie.

Anonymous said...

It's not often I fully agree with your points, but this one I agree with 100 percent. The meters are a backdoor tax on the poor. If you aren't wealthy enough to own a house or have a garage you get hammered by the authority. They'll especially ticket your car if it's registered outside the city or if your inspection is overdue. But even with a $15m surplus they fail to maintain their own properites that people pay a premium to use. Sad that THIS is the commerce we have in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

You know if the parking authority didn't exist there would be total anarchy. As it is you have people triple parking not double parking on 7th st. Making for only one lane to get into Allentown during morning rush hour. For people that are trying to come into Allentown to generate business for Allentown late for work. It's not APAs fault people are getting ticket it I'd there own fault!