Mar 3, 2014

The Allentown Parking Authority

The Allentown Parking Authority Officer shown here is by far the most productive person they have, he may well be the most productive city worker period. I estimate he easily writes over a $half million dollars a year by himself. He spends the day hoping from one fertile hot zone to another. You can see him everyday, several times working Chew Street, between 16th and West. That block, because of the hospital, has time restricted parking. He's like a fisherman, a very good one, who knows the good spots. For those less familiar with this blog, please use the search engine on the upper right; type in parking authority. Along with taking them to task numerous times, I documented fictitious data they provided to City Council to justify doubling the meter rate and fine structure. I also 
"They're acting like a vampire sucking the blood out of downtown," Molovinsky said of the authority.
conducted a news conference, covered by Channel 69, on unnecessary parking meters as far out as 10th and Chew. Those meters were finally removed, only this year. Some comments on the previous post suggest that there is justification for the Authority and their policies. As a student of this bureaucracy for years, I can tell you that it has actually had a negative affect on center city commerce. It's simply a back door tax, mostly on those who can least afford it. The cars shown are being ticketed for not moving for street sweeping, despite the snow.*

*photographs from 2007, Parking Authority supposedly no longer gives "sweep tickets" during snow storms.

UPDATE: This is a reprint from September of 2010. My thanks to the reader who sent me the archive date. I was told by the current Authority director that although the regulations haven't changed, they now use discretion concerning enforcement during snow hardships.


Anonymous said...

The second picture looks like he's double parked at the corner.

Local said...

They are at it already.
APA grunts are climbing three foot piles of ice to ticket cars for street sweeping. The street sweeper just sits blocking the road while this occurs.
It is certainly not possible for the large machine to either remove the mammoth piles of ice or fit into the spots created by residents where the snow is piled high at each end of the parking spot. If the City/ parking authority wants to issue parking tickets, then they should have cleared the streets in the first place. After all, who is working for whom? If thge APA intends to continue soaking residents for permits and penalties, they should do a hell of a lot better job making those spaces usable.
And to the further detriment of our city, the Allentown police will not enforce city code relating to the illegal placement of items on the street to "reserve" personal parking spots with chairs and other household items.
My block has around 22 (-3 full of ice)parking spots that need to be shared by at least 30 cars.
I found it necessary to lecture a local cop about ethics and The Codified ordinances of the city of Allentown. He didn't feel the need to tell the tenants that nobody owns the street or has the right to place items on the street. He dressed me down for moving the chair.
He told me not to act, but to call the police. I did that the next day and waited. After a half an hour, a cruiser went by and did nothing. After another half of an hour I called back to learn the the call had been cancelled and that they will not enforce those laws. The same people now mark their spots even though the snow is gone.
When folks block a parking spot while they are gone for hours, the many older residents and law abiding citizens have nowhere to park and end up with a long walk.
This non-enforcement of existing laws only serves to make city neighborhoods more dangerous. This omission of duty trashes neighborhoods.
Now these same people, and a couple others are doing it too. I must be very careful on the street now because these same people mutter threats and rude comments. If the police had performed their job properly I would not have had to become a TARGET for irresponsible individuals living in the area. Many of us have been here twenty years or more and should not have to feel threatened walking to and from our homes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, is the apa a private company? Does the city get a percentage of the ticket revenue? If so, why would they give up a cash cow to a private entity? Does the city own the parking garages and the apa manage them? I tried looking this up and wasn't able to find any info so i decided to ask you.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, if a lawnchair had a plate on it the apa would be ticketing the chair. Problem solved real quick

Anonymous said...

The apa should write tickets for obsructing parking if you have junk in front of your house. Or the town should enforce the sweep ordinace but the apa will get the job done.

michael molovinsky said...

the APA is a separate entity from the city. the authority was created in the 1970's. the authority owns the parking garages. the authority's board is mostly appointed by the mayor, allowing the administration to call the shots. use google, type parking authority, molovinsky on allentown for numerous posts on this subject.

Anonymous said...

MM, is the parking authority part of The Great Allentown Fair Circus Sideshow from the back midway too? There are many streets were I live that have signs posted clearly that state no parking the entire block? I have never seen the ticket masters there nor the police and this is a public saftey issue on these small blocks were two cars can't pass

patent pending

Anonymous said...

I saw the street cleaner speed by on my block today. I didn't see the APA escort ahead of it but assumed that they went through as well.

I can tell you that actually cleaning the street did not seem to be a priority, and I really couldn't see a difference after it went through.