Chestnut Hill is patrolling its parking lots for “squatters”

Chestnut Hill’s parking lots are intended for shoppers and people doing business along the one-mile commercial corridor of Germantown Avenue.

But the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation (CHPF) reports that some people are abusing the eight free lots it operates and that occasionally creates a parking shortage.

Many people like the free lots because the alternative is to use one of the 400-metered spaces along Germantown Avenue between Southampton and Chestnut Hill Avenues.

“Parking is premium up here,” said John Ingersoll, CHPF President and co-owner of the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop.

On patrol

To deal with the problem the Parking Foundation is sending six parking ambassadors to patrol the lots from Tuesday through Saturday. While they don’t have the authority to issue parking tickets, when they identify cars parked for unreasonably long periods they notify the Philadelphia police.

Another strategy being taken is by the Parking Foundation is to offer monthly parking rates of $100 per month, for shop employees and anyone else who might have a need for one. These are available at Parking Foundation office at 8426 Germantown Ave.

Surveillance cameras

In addition to the ambassadors, cameras are being installed in all eight lots. The Parking Foundation says these are to record any crimes that may occur. Ingersoll says this is not due to any specific problem; they’re just looking out for the safety of Chestnut Hill’s patrons.

The Foundation was able to secure a $250,000 grant a few years back to purchase the cameras. They have already been installed in most lots, and the last few will be installed within the next couple of weeks.

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