Easton Could Extend Parking Enforcement Times
You could soon have to feed Easton's meters from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and pay to park on Sunday.
The days of finding free parking in downtown Easton after 6 p.m. -- as well as not paying to park at all on Sundays -- could soon be over.
City Council is considering changes to Easton's parking, including higher prices and new meter enforcement hours that run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
"There shouldn’t be any reason we shouldn’t go to 9," Councilman Roger Ruggles said at Tuesday night's council budget hearing. "It’s easier to remember. It’s 9 to 9."
The plan would also require visitors to downtown Easton to pay to park on Sundays between noon and 9 p.m.
Another proposed change: All downtown parking meters would go from 50 cents to $1 per hour. That rate is standard in many of the communities surveyed by Police Lt. Matthew Lohenitz, who runs the department's traffic division.
"Easton’s rate is considerably lower," Lohenitz told council. "We would be right in line with State College to Pittsburgh to all points in between."
Councilman Jeff Warren said he worried the increase would be too much of a "shock" for downtown business owners.
"Going from 50 cents to a dollar, that’s a pretty significant jump," he said.
Lohenitz noted that the city's new credit/debit card meters still take quarters, allowing people to park for 15-minute intervals. He said it's also possible to configure those meters to take nickels and dimes as well, so "you can customize your stay."
The city is hoping the new rates and longer enforcement hours will raise about $190,000. That money will fund the Greater Easton Development Partnership, which oversees the Easton Main Street Initiative, the Ambassadors program and the Easton Farmers' Market.
City council is hoping to hear from residents on the proposed parking changes at its meeting tonight. The meeting is due to start at 6 p.m. in council chambers on the sixth floor of City Hall.