SCRANTON -- A popular spot to find free parking in Scranton's downtown won't be free for very much longer.
The Marketplace at Steamtown's parking garage off Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton provides a convenient entrance to the shopping mall and also a place for people visiting the city's downtown to skip out on paying parking fees.
The garage's manager, ABM Parking put up signs telling shoppers and parkers alike that that will soon change. There will soon be a fee for parking in the Marketplace garage only if you do not plan to shop or visit one of the Marketplace's tenants.
"I think it's a good idea because it aligns with everybody else and still free for the shoppers, which I think, is everybody's concern like mine," said Joe Cigna of Dunmore.
Marketplace managers say the ABM signs don't tell the whole story.
The Marketplace at Steamtown followed up those signs with signs that further clarify the way the parking will change this fall.
In that time, ABM will install equipment so that the garage will start to work like the other parking garages in the city while the Marketplace will develop a system to validate parking for people who visit there.
"I remember years ago when the mall first opened, we had a store in the mall at the time, and we had to validate parking at that time, so it doesn't seem like it's anything outside of the norm for what people do when it comes to parking," said Breeda Cronin-Holmes.
Cronin-Holmes runs Cronin's Irish Cottage at the Marketplace at Steamtown. She thinks the parking changes could encourage more people to come and shop.
"To be honest, I feel like anybody who would be really upset about it might not necessarily be here to shop anyway, so we welcome the shoppers and we want the shoppers to come in. If we need to validate tickets for them, that's fantastic."
The parking fees will go to ABM Parking because of an agreement between the Marketplace's owner and the city of Scranton.