Friday, June 29, 2012

Borough Council acts to raise parking fines for first time in decades

If you forget to feed a nickel or a dime into a parking meter in Elizabethtown, the parking ticket issued by police will run you $5 today. That's a bargain.
It has been more than 40 years since Elizabethtown Borough Council has raised the fines for parking tickets. If you take into account inflation, a parking ticket today would cost you $28.

Also consider the parking fines for a meter violation in other nearby boroughs: Lititz, $10; Manheim, $15; and Mount Joy $20.

Last week, Elizabethtown Borough Council took a first step to raising parking fines. On a unanimous vote, council approved advertising an ordinance that will increase the fines.

After the ordinance has been advertised, council can then approve it, which could happen as early as next month.

This discussion about parking fines brings to mind ongoing comments about parking in downtown Elizabethtown. I was a bit taken aback after corresponding with a resident who said she and her family rarely patronize Subway or E-Yuan, the Chinese restaurant, on Market  Street because of parking.

Since then, I have taken a number of trips downtown to check on parking. One morning at about 11:00, I found ample space on either side of Market Street from the post office to the square -- to the point one wouldn't have needed to parallel park. I also saw multiple parking spaces in all of the municipal lots. One Thursday, I attended one of the Downtown Lunch Series where there were definitely more people on the square, and I found a space in the lot off East High Street.

Then, a resident told me last Friday that he and his family ate at the new Pita Pit for dinner. It was jammed with people, and unsolicited this person told me parking in front of the restaurant was wide open.

Finally, just yesterday my wife picked up lunch at E-Yuan for her staff in an office at Elizabethtown College recently and was able to park right in front of the restaurant.

I understand these are anecdotal. And I'm not naive enough to think that other people might have difficulties at time finding parking. The fact is, it's not as big a problem as some people make it out.


  1. the way i look at as a long time resident of Elizabethtown, I feel it is the Boro's fault for the parking problems in Elizabethtown.

    They messed everything up when they took the original square away. No more shops that are worth talking about, no more people meeting downtown to say hi to neighbors or friends. They toatally destroyed our town years ago, The older folks no longer sit downtown, it's a shame use to be nice, not anymore.

    1. Let me be clear: I don't think there are parking problems in downtown Elizabethtown. In all the times I've been downtown in the last few years, the only times I've had trouble finding a spot are when major events are happening. But on a Sunday after church, I've found a spot in front of Subway. On a weekday morning, multiple spots in the municipal lot behind the library.

      As for businesses, yes there's been turnover. But in 2012, we now have J's Sweet Treats, the Pita Pit, Lucky Ducks, a jeweler and others. It's not a hardware store. It's not a men's clothing store. It's not what it was. It's different. It's change. And that's difficult for some people to accept. But to say it's horrible or "totally destroyed" does not sound like someone who takes pride in Elizabethtown or who sees the potential in this great town.


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