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Tell Us: Easton's New Parking Hours

City could raise its rates and change the length of time parking meters are enforced. What do you think?

Members of Easton's business community lined up at Wednesday's City Council meeting to express concerns about proposed changes to the city's parking meters.

Council is considering changing the enforcement hours for the meters to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday to Saturday (noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays) and raising the cost of the meters from 50 cents an hour to $1 per hour.

The aim is to raise money to fund the Greater Easton Development Partnership -- which oversees programs like the Ambassadors and the Easton Main Street Initiative, both designed to help the downtown.

But business owners told Council Wednesday they worry the change will have the opposite effect -- driving people away from Downtown.

Quoted on the Easton Eccentric blog, School of Rock president Ray Thierrin said later parking hours will cost his students' parents, who often drop off their kids and then wait. 

"It will hurt if people have to pay an extra $2 just to enjoy our lobby," Thierrin said. 

Meanwhile, Pastor Andrew Gerns of Trinity Episcopal Church wrote a letter to the city opposing the Sunday parking hours.

"If the meters go into effect at noon, we will have to drastically redesign our Sunday program," the letter reads. "It will make Downtown less attractive for people who want to come to church and stay Downtown for lunch."

He says "if" because Council has yet to vote on the changes. The city is set to have another meeting on the issue Nov. 27.

You can voice your opinion then, and you can also do it now. Post your thoughts in the comments, and take our poll.

Amend November 17, 2012 at 03:20 AM
@RF- from what I heard discussed at the meeting, you'll still be able to use quarters. They're even considering the added use of dimes and nickels as well. Use of a debit/credit card would have a dollar minimum.
another point of view November 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I think that you need to review your data and your sources. 500,000 is a little low for visitor totals seeing that two of the city's major attractions have significant numbers and are located outside of the downtown. And, that downtown number represents primarily Two Rivers Landing visitors including a majority of school children. The children are invisible; they enter the back door and leave through the same and dare not touch a foot on anything else that is Easton. Yeah, there is a lot of vehicular traffic in the downtown. 40,000 cars travel Route 22 daily. If you took all that Ambassador money and invested in signage and directions you could attract significant numbers to the downtown. And, most vehicles skirt the downtown coming and going to and from New Jersey and not hitting those four blocks tended by the Ambassadors. I have watched Ambassador employees walk past garbage on Bushkill Street which carries ten times the traffic of Northampton. The issue is balance. I would say that Easton survives without the Ambassadors and that 500,000 visitor number-mostly school kids- remains without them. In fact, that number was there before the Ambassadors ever existed. As far as taxes real estate taxes from the downtown only represent less than 20% of the whole city. I seriously question whether anyone can demonstrate any real benefit from this absurdly expensive program. And, commuter taxes-the big numbers will come from the college and county, not downtown.
Amend November 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM
@APOV- actually, the 500,000 number was based on downtown attractions, not city wide. What other attractions in the city draw that number, and are also a benefit to our tax base? The amusement tax raises around $450,000. Parking about the same. 20% of the real estate tax is still 20%. I never implied that only the downtown would generate additional revenue thru the commuter tax, just that it's additional revenue. I'm certain the downtown generates more business taxes than most other areas in the city, and everyone employed pays EIT. The point was that you asked for balance. I was demonstrating how the downtown generates it's fair share of revenue for the city, and that it was short sighted to demonize attempts to build capacity in the downtown thru initiatives like the ambassadors just because you personally don't see that value.
Ronnie DelBacco November 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM
R.D. Frable, Suppose then city residents can deposit their own leaves for free at the site of the annual EAHS Bon Fire. They usually build a huge circle of pallets and fill in the center with burnable debris. Leaves qualify. That gives everyone the opportunity to clean up their leaves, have the kids doing wood collections also grab the leaf bags, and saves the city collection fees and credits. Easton could even foot the bill for disposable paper bags and still save a ton of money over the leaf collection systems and man hours. Keep in mind, it was one example off the top of my head not to be singled out as the only solution. Rather, the start of a discussion on many similar cost cutting measures that should be discussed before increasing fees and taxes. Maybe we can just take the leaves downtown and dump them along Bushkill St to cover the trash the Ambassadors don't pick up there.
Amend November 18, 2012 at 02:24 PM
@Ronnie- the ambassadors aren't tasked with cleaning up Bushkill St as it lies outside of their primary district, tho they will do so occasionally regardless. To stick with their budget, the footprint of the ambassadors was dramatically reduced when the preliminary funding ran dry and the NID effort failed. It's inaccurate to throw rocks at them for not doing something they aren't tasked with doing.

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