Thursday, September 13, 2012

Easton City Council to Mull Parking Changes Again

By Christina Georgiou

More tweaks to Easton's parking laws may be on the horizon, as city council members said they will be discussing the possibility of adding changes to city ordinances at their workshop meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Councilman Jeff Warren, who heads the council's public safety committee, said he'd like to discuss possibly drafting a "Lazy Double Parking" law similar to a recent ordinance enacted in Allentown.

"I think it could possibly help with some of the problems we've had," Warren said. "It could give our police another tool in the toolbox."

It was unclear if the law would apply to delivery trucks or those loading and unloading vehicles, or what the amount of any possible fine for double parking might be.

In Allentown, an additional $100 penalty is assessed for lazy parkers or operators of double-parked vehicles that are adjacent to  an open public space. The Allentown law, enacted last month, also established escalating fines for repeat offenders.

Councilwoman El Warner said she'd like to discuss the possibility of adding motorcycle and scooter parking spots in Easton's Downtown district.

"I ride a scooter, and I hate to take up a whole spot," she said, adding that while many do it, parking scooters and motorcycles on the sidewalk is illegal.

Likely not on the list for the October workshop meeting is an issue brought up by Mayor Sal Panto of cars that park in the parking lot just off of South Second and Ferry streets.

Panto said a number of cars that have parked near the five-story office building next to Bank of America during off-hours have recently been towed.

He added that he feels warning signage is inadequate, and that the building's owner is using a towing company located in Forks Township that doesn't keep evening or weekend hours, meaning those whose vehicles have been towed sometimes can't get them back for days.

Panto said at least four people have complained to his office about the situation, and some were from out of town, making the problem especially inconvenient and costly.

But because the property is privately owned, there's not much the city can do about either the practice or the choice of tow company, opined city solicitor William Murphy.

"I almost want to say, when Larry Holmes comes back (and reopens his restaurant at the adjacent Ringside Pub location), I want to park on their side and get towed and see what happens," the mayor said.

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