Parking garage gates to be closed 24 hours a day

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
West Chester borough parking garages will now have the gates operational 24 hours a day every single day, though Sundays will still be free. (Candice Monhollan)

West Chester borough parking garages will now have the gates operational 24 hours a day every single day, though Sundays will still be free. (Candice Monhollan)

WEST CHESTER — No longer will people finding a spot in parking garages in West Chester and expect to see the gates up on Sundays.

After a discussion by the West Chester Borough Council Tuesday night in its work session, and with over 50 members of West Chester’s religious community in attendance, the council voted 7-0 Wednesday to keep the gates down 24 hours a day every day, but Sundays will continue to remain free.

“This was a very happy experience in municipal government because we did something in totally good faith with the tax payers in mind,” said West Chester Borough Council Member Bill Scott. “We readily changed our mind when we saw the weight of what everybody said.”

… [Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]

Originally, an idea of making the garages charge 24/7 was brought forth from Scott because of a problem with the free Sundays.

Scott said, as an example, some people may park their vehicle in one of the garages Saturday afternoon and enjoy an evening out on the town.

Afterward, being safe, the person would walk home and return to get their vehicle sometime Sunday and drive right out with the gates up, never having paid for the Saturday hours.

“The problem with the borough garages is that people can go in, take a ticket Tuesday, drive out Sunday and you have a lot of free time off,” Scott said. “Therefore, I’m on the Parking Committee and it was my idea to continue the free parking, but charge in the garages. I wasn’t if there were that many people that used the garages.”

Scott knew there would be some push-back to the idea, but was unsure of how much, but he also knew the borough couldn’t continue with how the garages were currently running on Sundays.

When word of the proposed idea passing through the Borough Parking Committee, e-mails began flooding in from residents.

West Chester’s religious community also took a stand, using the slogan “Pay to Pray” to rally against the idea.

Over 50 members of the religious community came out to the Borough Council’s work session as well.

“I just want it to be on record that council received 50 e-mails and at least 50 citizens of our religious community attended our work session to voice their opposition to efforts by parking enforcement to include Sunday,” said Cassandra Jones, council member, during Wednesday’s meeting.

Scott appreciated seeing the turnout at the work session.

“They were so many people here that were well-intentioned,” he said. “They really made obvious the integral part of the town that the church-going community is and reminded us of the longevity of these institutions.”

Though the whole idea of Scott’s was to stop people from abusing the free Sunday parking with the open gates, the Borough Council compromised with the public.

Instead of charging for the garages every hour of every day, the garages will continue to be free on Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., though the gates will now be operative at all times.

When the ticket is inserted into the machine, no matter the times when someone parks — whether it’s Saturday into Sunday or Friday through Monday — the machine will not charge for those 17 hours on Sundays.

Scott was impressed with the religious community’s ability to come together on an issue — even if it was just parking.

“I changed my mind and happily so,” Scott said. “For those of us who are absolutely protective of West Chester’s character and integrity, the people proved to me that part of that has to do with this church-going community who was there.”

Advertisements

Tags: ,

Categories: Business, Community

Subscribe & Connect

Subscribe to Candice's RSS feed and connect to her social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: