(131st in a series of posts on parking)
Councilwoman Paige Van Wirt’s idea is a pilot study to provide free parking in a select area of the downtowns but triple the cost of a ticket to $30.
Parking is such a hot potater, but PVW has her safety gloves on.
What do you think?
Here’s a random sampling of responses out there.
PVW’s Facebook page:
Time limits will lead to people leaving businesses earlier than they want to, which keeps taking away local spending! Increase the fines! Bethlehem’s fines are not a deterrent!
Not looking for “free” but a more reasonable rate would be nice!!!
This would be so great. It would be fantastic to enjoy a meal without it costing $3 extra and keeping an eye on the meter the whole time. Plus I’ve gotten parking tickets for meters that were out of order and wouldn’t accept payment, which is absurd. Free short term parking is normal in small urban centers like Bethlehem. I was shocked to discover how much this town charges for parking and for tickets.
The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald C. Shoup
The parking meters have no impact on whether I drive in to town or not.. it’s the lack of parking spaces that does.
The parking authority is out of control. The rates are among the highest in the valley. Im in agreement that done correctly it would be great Look At Hellertown. No meters. Plenty of parking and plenty of business ‘s.
If the parking authority is “troubled“ by writing 82,000 tickets this year perhaps they could give me a five minute window instead of writing me a ticket the moment the meter expired Monday night! ￼
Free parking will clog the spots even more than they are now. It will backfire because people won’t be paying attention and just leave them there for longer than they need. Maybe a first 15 mins free would be good to help keep spots turning over. But more than that and it’s a problem
I think there should always be free parking keeps people away from town.
Free parking won’t suddenly drive people downtown to shop. First, parking generally is a pain downtown–free or not. Second, what stores attract people to come downtown? None. Bethlehem needs to attract better stores and attractions downtown first.
Nah who wants free parking? What kind of question is that? How much money is the study going to cost?
All city council members should oppose any increase to anything related to parking considering the BPA does not need the money to maintain budget. Parking increases should be seen as a tax and only legitimate if needed for operating expenses.
looks like the ladies on council have more………….. then the men
Who knows… I don’t think it’s a barrier to shopping on Main St. The establishments located there are expensive as is; not charging $2 to park isn’t suddenly going to result in a flood of new people. The barrier for me is that there is nothing I need down there on the regular. Plus half the restaurants are ‘meh’ at best.
There is never any open spaces down there as is. Just park in the garage its cheaper!
‘Downtown’ is like two blocks. Garage is half a block away. Even I can walk that.
I won’t shop or eat at places where they charge for parking. I don’t purchase from the internet if shipping is not free. The Bethlehem Parking Authority leaves no time for anyone being late. I have had people tell me they had returned to car 2 min after expired and received a fine. It’s unacceptable. If vendors want business they need to work with city to eliminate fees not increase them. This is why main streets disappeared and malls become the new thing.
Council President Adam Waldron said he supports a fine increase because $10 is too low. “The whole purpose of the parking ticket is not punishment, it is future compliance,” he said. No, the purpose of the parking ticket, and meters, is revenue. The city now relies on the parking revenue. “…It is estimated to bring in $75,000 to $100,000 in additional revenue.”
If there wasn’t anyone parking down there or going down there I would agree to give out free parking. But that is not the case! Main St. is thriving more than any other down town in the Lehigh Valley and there is never any on street parking now. So other than political pandering by these Council members, I’m not sure what the purpose is to provide free parking!
Dizzying, isn’t it?