Pottsville won’t write parking tickets – sometimes – to get people to come downtown

    The Pottsville Parking Authority already has relatively cheap rates and a generous free parking allowance in its downtown area.



    The Pottsville Parking Authority won’t ticket parking violators two days per month in an attempt encourage people to patronize downtown businesses in the four-square mile capital of Schuylkill County.

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    Amy Burkhart, the authority’s executive director, says the days will be chosen randomly. The authority ran a similar initiative more than a decade ago, and will continue this one “until further notice”, Burkhart says.  Instead of getting tickets, violators in Pottsville will receive warning notices on those days, according to a statement from the authority.Meters there cost 50 cents hourly; residential permits, $36 annually; and garages no more than $60 monthly.

    Fines are $10, or $7 if paid on the same day a violation is issued, Burkhart says.

    Those parking rates are relatively low compared to other cities surveyed earlier this year by PennLive.

    People also can park for free for the first hour in Pottsville’s downtown business district, another tactic meant to encourage patronage at local businesses – particularly those with customers making quick trips.An hour is more generous than in other places with similar short-term parking policies. Carlisle, Cumberland County’s seat, forgives the first 15 minutes of parking, for example.Parking operators in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania and Dauphin County, plan to pilot a 15-minute freebie in the city’s Midtown neighborhood.

    Harrisburg also issued warnings instead of tickets in early 2014 as parking operators rolled out higher rates, steeper fines and longer enforcement hours.The increases were needed to generate enough revenue to repay debt incurred by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority for long-term leases of the city’s public garages. The transaction was one of two main components of the municipality’s deal to resolve nearly $600 million of older public debt.




    Pottsville won’t issue parking tickets – sometimes by Emily Previti


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