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Credit Card Parking Meters Coming to Easton

City will install 38 new parking meters that take credit cards near the Northampton County Government Center next week.

The days of hunting for quarters at the parking meters near the Northampton County Government Center could be coming to an end.

Easton police say they'll oversee the installation of 38 new meters that accept credit cards on Monday, Nov. 12.

The city will put the meters along Seventh Street between Washington and Walnut streets, as well as along Washington Street outside the courthouse.

The meters will cost $1 per hour, and require a $1 minimum purchase when you're using a credit card. (If you want to use quarters, the meters accept them as well, charging 25 cents for every 15 minutes.)

Hours on the meters will remain the same: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a 10-hour limit.

Police want to know what residents think of the meters. To give your feedback, contact Lt. Matthew Lohenitz at 610-250-6664, or mlohenitz@easton-pa.gov.

The courthouse meters are being installed for a 90-day trial. The city is looking to eventually install new meters all over downtown.

Bob Rabinsky November 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
the city has gone completley insane. Do they want visitors and customers to shop down town? The city can not meter itself out of debt. I live down town and have to purchase a sticker for $100 a year to park in front of my own home. If I can find a spot. I cant wait to move out.
Randi Kaplan Dellavechia November 08, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The city should wait until they can afford to put the same meters through out the city. Having one type of meter in one area, and another meter in a different area, and yet a third meter in other areas, will only confuse anyone that comes downtown. The meters need to be consistent.
Dennis R. Lieb November 10, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Mr. Rabinsky...if you wish to move out of downtown that's certainly your decision but remember that choosing to live in the central business district has certain costs that other neighborhoods don't - parking being one, as there is never perceived to be enough for all the cars that people think they need - and keeping space available during business hours greatly influences the economic viability of a downtown. A residential fee of $100/yr for the use of streets (public goods) to store private vehicles seems like a great deal considering the alternative: renting off-street space or paying to be in a secure garage. Easton is not unique in charging for valuable curb space. Indeed, it is behind the curve in charging properly (and at the correct times) for it. As for the Courthouse re-metering, this was an initiative asked for by the neighborhood due to excessive parking abuse of free curb space by courthouse users and employees. It is not an issue of balancing budgets but of maintaining parking inventory for residents. DRL
Dennis R. Lieb November 10, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Ms. Kaplan Dellavechia...You are correct that consistency, clarity and convenience of parking regulations are paramount to a successful downtown. Two issues negatively affect meter policy: technology and politics. The technology issue has been overcome in the past decade by better metering. They now accept credit cards but should always take coins for convenience. Easton is doing this, but I'd go a step further here, similar to what I saw in West Palm Beach at a national planning conference this past May. Meters took all forms of coins (nickels, dimes, dollar coins) as well as bills, credit cards, city issued debit cards and cell phone payments...all clearly labeled on each meter along with hours of operation. On the political issue; meter revenue should be dedicated to the specific neighborhood in which it is generated and not allotted to the general fund. If not, people assume their money disappears into thin air for no good purpose. Political acceptance of meters by the public depends on the revenue's use. Reinvesting that money in the places it is generated serves that purpose. I have not as yet convinced city hall of this necessity but it will eventually become self-evident. DRL
Dennis R. Lieb November 10, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Mr. Rabinsky...an additional thought:There are certain cost aspects of living in a downtown that are offset by the amenities made available within walking distance. Perhaps over decades Easton had lost many of those amenities (access to a wide array of commercial and entertainment venues for instance) but the case for that view is waning as the city improves. But for true, long-term sustainability beyond the current tenuous threshold, some critical decisions must be made regarding many aspects (including parking) of city management. Unfortunately, many times people living downtown forget or fail to ever recognize those trade-offs as necessary and beneficial to them. DRL

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