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Poll: Changing Easton's Parking Hours

Easton could alter the hours on its downtown parking meters. What do you think?

Easton's parking study to the city's parking rates and rules.

Among them: altering Easton's parking enforcement hours at meters, so they'd run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., rather than 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Personally, I like the way things are now; I like the idea of being able to go Downtown after 6 in the evening and not to worry about whether I have quarters. 

But that's just me. What do you think? Take our poll below, and tell us what you think in the comments.

Jim Vivian May 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM
And the city wants to add another reason to stay out of Easton at night???? Stupid.
Horv Paul May 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM
yehhh, raise them rates , change those hours and now we can ticket all those dead beat state theater goers that dont put quarters in the meter while they are watching the shows. yehhh , we'll get them rotten cheats !!!{being sarcastic of course} God almighty, is there anyone one in Easton government with a brain ??????????????
Dhun Mehta May 05, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Article does not say what the basis for the recommendation is so how can we vote other than for some neurotic emotional reason? Will this increase revenue? What will be the effect on existing businesses - do they even stay open after 6:00? What is the objective here, to increase revenue for the city or to benefit the businesses? In my opinion, Easton down town is borderline dead, has little to attract new businesses. This is the key.
Tom Coombe (Editor) May 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I think the objective involves both things you mention, Dhun. And you raise a good point: a lot of businesses close in the evening.
Christina Georgiou May 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM
The thought behind having meters run until 8 p.m. is to have restaurant and bar patrons pay some revenue to the city, since the restaurants are some of the most successful businesses in town and nearby street parking can be at a premium during their prime times. In other words, to not have the full burden fall on retail customers and other day visitors. (BTW, not saying this is right or wrong, only passing along what has been discussed at prior city council/parking meetings.)
gruntled May 05, 2012 at 07:51 PM
And since the revenue before businesses open is very light, they can claim same number of hours and get more revenue because evening diners must then feed the meters. It may make attending some functions downtown more difficult.
another point of view May 05, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Here's what is wrong. Suppose you need a parking space and you go to any garage and you pay $100 for a space. You are told up front that there is no absolute guarantee that there will always be a space for you. Most of the time there should be enough spaces. One day, you arrive at the garage, and you find there are people parking in the spaces who were excused from paying. You are angry, but you park your car and you let it pass. Then, one day, you arrive at the garage and you find there are people parking in the spaces who were again excused from paying. But, this time, there are no spaces available. You complain and your complaints fall on deaf ears. Do you think that is fair? What has happened in downtown is similar. The city charges downtown residents for parking. The city does not guarantee that spaces will be available. When the restaurants opened there were many times when no spaces were available. People who had paid for residential parking permits were out of luck. Spaces had been taken without any consideration.
another point of view May 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM
The problem was further compounded by restaurants offering valet parking. I would think that valet parking would direct the cars to a lot or a garage. Not true. The valet parked cars were placed in any available parking space in the downtown. In fact, some residents who had permits had to pay to park in the garage because no spaces were available on the streets. They received an undeserved, double wammy. If the city is offering a residential program, then the meter times need to be expanded. If the city decides against such a program then it can be first come, first served. Parking meters are not nice. They have nasty attitudes. They can take your money and not give you accurate time. And, they sit there with dumb smirks on their faces as you scream and yell at them. And, when you complain, they have nothing to say, as if nothing ever happened at all. Don't kick or hit them, they have cast iron guts and never give back a dime or a nickel or a quarter. And remember the first law of life is the first law of parking meters. . .You can never buy enough time.
Jerry Thomas May 06, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Disgusted! All I know was that when I went to enjoy downtown today, I parked on Northampton St between 4th and 5th St. and put a quarter in the meter and the 12 minutes that were showing did not change to 42 minutes. I had to get back into my car and look for another parking space. What kind of "SMART" meters are these? I guess they are smart enough to take your money and give you nothing in return. Also it was noted that you could only park the maximum time. Not sure what the maximum time was because it is not denoted on the meter. And if the maximum time is two or three hours, that is not enough time to enjoy the Sigal Museum, a meal or most of the downtown activities. I guess I will have to continue looking out of center city for my shopping and entertainment. Thank you Easton for being so money hungry! A disgusted Eastonian.
R.D. Frable May 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM
THERE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ANY CHARGE FOR METERS ON SATURDAYS!! YOU GAVE UP THAT QUARTER NEEDLESSLY!!!
Christina Georgiou May 07, 2012 at 08:56 PM
@R.D. Frable: Actually, that's Sundays that is currently free for street parking. Though that is one of the things that is being discussed as possibly changing. But Saturdays are definitely active for metered street parking. @Jerry Thomas: If the meter you parked at was red, it's a 'short-term' meter, and it won't go beyond a short limit which might well be 12 minutes. But there are also those meters that just don't 'like' some quarters too--I've met those meters too. The police say those smart meters count the quarters even when they're not properly registered. Though I don't know really how that does anyone any good, unless one wants to track someone down and likely spend the better part of an hour trying to recover a quarter or two. And you're right, the current notice on the meters regarding time limits is fairly atrocious. Hoping that's going to be part of the 'better signage' I've heard our mayor say (rightly) we need.
R.D. Frable May 08, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Then how can I convince someone close to me who brings me Downtown generally only for take-out food to stop harassing me about feeding the meter *during what is apparently its active hours* just because they've never been ticketed *even though one day when I DID feed it* **a meter checker came through** ***while they were parked and waiting for me** ****and they TOLD me that all of that happened**** They're just (and I'm very sorry to say this) old-age forgetful and can't remember anything that happened in their own neighborhood from one day to the next but DO remember what Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or Mark Levin or Professor Savage said on WAEB AM 790 three days before. I really wish I didn't have to live anywhere near them, but why that isn't possible I can't discuss here.
Jerry Thomas May 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM
It was not a "red" meter and from talking with folks that work and visit downtown often, this is apparently not an uncommon event. I'm not sure how the system works, but I was told that there are sensors to detect vehicles in the space and this is supposed to cause some series of events. Seems like these systems are not working consistently and the city is raking in the money while the user gets frustrated. I have no plans to spend my time looking for my quarter back while I get a ticket for an expired meter. BTW, I did read the meter and it stated that Sunday is the "free" day and that money was expected on Saturday. Again a chance for the government to get more money at the expense of the patrons and businesses. I wonder when they will force malls to have meters so they can get a cut? Sorry, but there is no excuse for driving customers out.

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