Making Parkade Safer

HAZLETON — There’s an old saying: you can’t take on city hall and win. But a woman in Hazleton is on a mission to do just that.

Her goal is to make the city’s only parking garage safer.

Judy Dowd uses the Hazleton Parkade on Wyoming Street every day and started to notice that many repairs are needed. She showed us some of them. For example, a fire alarm looks corroded.

She also showed us parts of the building coming apart. It’s a piece of plaster that was put up after the garage was built to repair and they’re falling down on the vehicles as cars above are going over the expansion joints.

“Even the mayor says the parking garage is falling apart.  Take a look at this, I can lift this right up,” Dowd said. “It’s a matter of public safety. I can’t sit and do nothing when I know it’s falling apart and say ‘gee, I should have.’”

When we were at the parkade, electricians were busy trying to fix some of the burned out lights.

Priscilla Tavarez and her mother feel more secure with the lighting.

“I feel safer because two woman coming out at 7 p.m. when we have late clients having to come in in the dark, you don’t know who walking around where.”

The garage is owned by the Hazleton Parking Authority. It’s in the process of turning control of the garage over to the city.  Officials hope a $1.5 million state grant is the answer to getting the problems fixed.

“The non-functional elevator has to be repaired so there are some issues that they’ve gone through so, once they take it over, they are going to put some money in there to get this back up,” said parking authority member Frank Vito.

Parking authority officials say they’re doing what they can to make repairs.

Dowd says she’ll keep going to public meetings to make sure that happens.

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