Parking Fine reudction spiked


Parking Fine reudction spiked

The Lewistown, PA City council has decided that the removal of a $3 reduction in parking fines for overstaying a meter won’t bring an end to civilization as we know it. In this central PA city, if you pay your parking fine within 24 hours you pay $2 instead of the original $5. Those of you in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and the rest of the US are assuming I have left off a preceding 5,6, or 7 from the numbers above.

Nope, that’s it — in Lewistown if you overstay at a meter and pay within 24 hours, your fine is $2. The detractors from the move were echoing the familiar refrain — People won’t come downtown to shop if we don’t have this lower fee. We must be customer friendly.

Well, the council understood a number of things — first — the amount was ludicrous. Many people overstayed and simply paid the $2. No big deal.

Second — the fine isn’t enough to make a difference in the first place. Enforcement has to have a bite or its doesn’t really work. Hell, merchants and their employees could park downtown, pay the fees daily, and have a parking space in front of their stores for $40 a month. Not a bad deal.

Third — To make on street parking work, the charges have to be high enough to force people into off street spaces. Turnover is what makes onstreet attractive.

Fourth — My favorite — Don’t blame parking if people don’t want to shop downtown. Give them a reason to shop there and they will come.  Compete — don’t whine and fix blame.

Good for you Lewistown city council. Keep up the good work. Maybe your next action could be to raise the fees paid for breaking the law.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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