Pottsville to Offer “Courtesy Parking” at Downtown Meters

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POTTSVILLE -- Fewer things in life are more annoying than parking tickets, where a brief trip to town for lunch can make your dinner $10-20 more expensive.

That's why the Pottsville Parking Authority is giving parking violators a break.

City leaders want more people to come downtown to shop, eat, and do business.

The last thing a visitor wants is a $10 ticket for a parking violation.

"It`s not a good thing.  It`s not a good thing," said businesswoman Zoe Korakas of New Jersey.  "You have to waste half your day figuring out how to pay it."

"It`s just so frustrating because sometimes I don`t have a watch, and I realized I made a mistake." added Jane Curtis of Orwigsburg.  "And I get frustrated at myself."

But if these visitor's parking meters expired in downtown Pottsville now, they'd get a mere "courtesy ticket" on their windshields.

They wouldn't have to pay a fine, but would get just a warning, and a list of places where people who park longer than an hour should go.

"I`m sure people appreciate have a warning instead, so that they would know that otherwise, on any other day they`d receive a ticket," said Pottsville Parking Authority executive Amy Burkhart.

Right now, there are even a handful of parking meters in front of city stores and offices that have sat empty for years.

Parking authority officials hope the courtesy tickets play a small role in bringing back businesses and customers downtown.  Visitors said it sure beats a $10 ticket.

"I think it`s a great idea," said Korakas.  "I think everybody should get a second chance."

People who continue to park in the same spot for an hour after a courtesy ticket is placed on their car will have to pay a parking ticket.

But Parking Authority leaders think meter readers will write far fewer than the 40 tickets a day they currently hand out, and they might build some goodwill with the people who come downtown.