(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A new year is bringing new prices for the parking meters in Scranton. Eyewitness News reporter Anja Whitehead spoke with concerned business owners in Lackawanna County.
Scranton has begun switching from parking meters to kiosks. This switchover has caused some issues for people who work and visit downtown.
Lenny Gryskewicz, a defense attorney tells Eyewitness News, this new system of paying for parking is a hassle.
“I park here to go to court a lot of times and with the new machines they put in here, they pay here. You can only put 2 hours in max. So a lot of times I get stuck in court longer, end up getting parking tickets. The other meters I think you could park at longer,” he said.
That’s not the only hassle people are going to have to deal with in the new year. In 2020, prices will increase at the parking kiosk from $1.50 an hour to $2 an hour.
“I do park on the square for work every day. That’s about $80 out of my pocket every month. And it stinks because that’s what I make in tips you know?” said Christine Hedden, Barista, Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe.
This pay increase isn’t just affecting people who work downtown. Local businesses like Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe on Spruce Street see the impacts.
“It limits times that are available for us to come in. Maybe someone wants to spend a half-hour shopping around a local store or hanging out at a local coffee shop which is supporting locals. But some people can’t do that anymore because they can’t afford it and that’s unfortunate,” noted Hedden.
“I think it could hurt businesses. There’s not a lot of places to park down here besides the meters. So it could definitely hurt the businesses,” said Gryskewicz.
There will also be an increase in overtime parking citations from $25 to $35.
“$35 is a lot of money so that’s going to be a big impact,” said Gryskewicz.
All of the new parking rates will go into effect on January 1 of 2020. We reached out to A-B-M Parking Services for comment and they have yet to get back to us.