City Councilman and Allentown Parking Authority Board Member Michael Donovan recently posted this blog entry: Parking Ticket Fines ... below are my thoughts:
Wow ... you're my hero. Except for the fact that Street Cleaning in Allentown is COMPLETELY UNNESASSARY! I've spoken to several people in the Allentown Streets Department as to why they do so much redundant street cleaning and within a day found a reasonable solution that would eliminate all the parking havoc caused by the current method. I then presented that solution to the Streets Department and never got a response to my endless follow-up calls. Next I presented a case for a performance audit of current Street Cleaning methods to the City Controller and "surprise surprise" I got no response. The fact of the matter is; that a reasonably priced upgrade to the city's water system would solve MANY PROBLEMS, but the current method that involves two city departments following each other around for countless man hours and requires every citizen to move their car off the streets in a city that is already hard-pressed for parking seems like the cheaper, easier and more logical way to go, right?
Because some grumpy old man at the Morning Call wrote one of the worst, one-sided, articles about double parking ever (Paul Carpenter: Double-parking plague infects city); you're going to raise the fine? (I see no mention of enforcement, just rising the fine; which will actually accomplish nothing) Now, I admit some people double park in a very inconsiderate manner ... they park in the middle of the street then leave the vehicle sitting, while others, pullover, do a quick 'drop-off' to let a passenger out who may have a heavy item or child/children with them, etc.. But to simply punish EVERYONE is not the answer because it doesn't address the problem.
The REAL problem is; THERE IS NO PLACE TO PARK! This is an ENORMOUS FAILURE on the part of the Allentown Parking Authority. With that said I would like to add; WOW YOU HAVE NERVE! YOU HAVE FAILED AND NOW YOU WANT TO FURTHER PUNISH THE CITIZENS OF ALLENTOWN FOR YOUR FAILURE!?!? I am very very very un-impressed.
There are only and handful of solutions to the city's parking problems and they are clear cut:
1) The Allentown Parking Authority must buy land, build parking lots, and offer free parking to residents to alleviate congestion.
2) The City and the Parking Authority need to work together and not allow houses to be converted to apartments in areas with little or no parking. Furthermore they need to convert some of the multi-family buildings back to single homes.
Raising fines to give the 'appearance of action' does NOTHING to actually solve the problem.
THIS LAW IS MORONIC! If a truck is parked on a city street in a manner that obstructs the flow of traffic and is a danger then give it a ticket. But to simply BAN a truck from parking anywhere is stupid! This is clearly something that falls into the "We have To-Many-Laws category" since other laws already address any REAL PROBLEM that could occur from an oversized vehicle being parked on the street. All this law does is punish and inconvenience people who happen to drive a truck. (PERIOD)
Every once in a while you do something that will only help bring attention to the fact that Allentown Parking Authority is out of control. When we have a city full of hard-to-ignore, big-yellow-boots, on every car, truck, SUV, baby stroller and ambulance; people will start to take a good long look at how the APA is run and I can assure you they will not be pleased.
For more information on the Corrupt, Wasteful, Hypocritical, Nuisance that is the APA visit this site about the Allentown Parking Authority