Frustrations over parking costs in Harrisburg boiling over

Written by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads | Feb 25, 2015 5:16 AM
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Photo by Lindsay Lazarski/Keystone Crossroads

(Harrisburg) -- It’s been nearly one year, but the aggravation over increased parking costs and enforcement in the city of Harrisburg seems as strong as ever.

More changes are expected this year. Some seem like they might address the complaints, but others could make them worse.

Monthly unassigned garage parking will cost more.

But, other rates are expected to drop in certain places, at certain times -- like Saturdays and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays -- to address complaints of downtown business owners and patrons. 

Even Mayor Eric Papenfuse, who’s called himself the city’s greatest cheerleader, didn’t sugarcoat the local economic damage.

“There’s no question that the parking system has had a negative impact on businesses and residents in Harrisburg,” he says.

Papenfuse spoke at last night public quarterly update of the Harrisburg Parking Advisory Board last -- a requirement in the city’s deal to lease its parking facility’s to help pay off debt.

Four decades worth of lease payments were made up front in December 2013, totaling nearly $300 million.

Eleven million dollars is for parking maintenance, and upgrades, like transitioning the formerly cash-based system.

The new set-up is from glitch-free and there are still more issues that have little to do with technology.

Resident Jason Moffett learned that first-hand when he tried to pay his $30 ticket, but was rebuffed.

“I took him $30 in pennies and nickels, that is U.S. currency,” he says.

SP Plus Vice President John Kemp says in that case, the customer was certainly right.

Keystone Crossroads is a statewide initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WITF is part of the collaboration with three other public media organizations

Published in Harrisburg, News

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