Hollidaysburg parking needs thorough plan

The parking recommendations that were presented to Hollidaysburg Borough Council in October make a good point concerning the current problems of borough parking ordinance for the 100-500 blocks of Allegheny Street.

This ordinance change would encompass all of Hollidaysburg, without consideration for the parking needs of residential neighborhoods.

Developers could build apartment buildings and off load parking into any neighborhood leaving no real redress.

The old mill on Walnut Street may be developed into a recreation center with a small parking area or no parking at all, pushing parking on to the neighboring streets.

The needs of the neighborhoods should be balanced alongside the wants of developers and the need for tax revenue.

In the change, it is my hope that the residents who already hold parking permits for their homes shall not have them taken away. Each permit was given according to the stated need of each resident, so they should retain their permits.

It is true that employees of the county and the Presbyterian Home cannot be forced to park in the provided areas of parking. However, residential home owners should not be made the scapegoats to solve this parking situation.

Council, the planning commission or any entity of the borough government has not addressed the requested discussion for permit parking in Gaysport, along Beaver, Jackson and Betts streets.

The residents of these streets have asked for parking permits due to the building of the Presbyterian Home’s 41-unit individual living apartment building.

This building will provide only 24 garage parking spaces.

The reduction of parking was granted under the assumption that people 62 years old and up drive less than younger folk.

A 2012 article in Money/U.S. News states that the new average retirement age is 67.

From this article we can surmise that the people who will be living in the new Presbyterian apartment building will be driving more, not less.

This overflow of vehicles from the new apartment building on to the street, combined with the street parking of the Presbyterian employees, will increase the parking problems for the residents of the Gaysport area.

The Presbyterian Home workers will park in the streets as they will choose not to walk the two and a half blocks to the employee parking lot, most especially after dark, in the rain, the snow, the ice and freezing temperatures.

Yes, some residents have off-street parking as I do. The difference is I have a one-car garage with three people and three cars. This is also the trouble that a number of Gaysport residents have with their own off-street parking.

This unwanted parking situation in our neighborhood is specifically due to the fact that the borough granted permission for the Presbyterian Home to decrease the required number of parking spaces for 41 apartments in spite of the possibility of 41 to 82 drivers residing in that building.

Where will they all park?

Louis Mollica

Hollidaysburg

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