Borough Discusses Better Parking Public Relations

The West Chester Borough Council Parking Committee discusses way to improve public perception of the parking department.

The Parking Committee discussed on Monday several recommendations to improve public relations surrounding parking in the borough.

“There’s a huge perception between residents and the borough that’s extremely negative when it comes to parking,” said council member Jordan Norley.  “We need to find ways to be proactive and to improve communication.”

Several members of borough council in attendance at the committee meeting cited examples of when constituents reached out to them angry at the parking situation.

“There’s a real cost to the bad will that’s out there,” Norley said.  “We should do what we can do to improve things.”

John Manion suggested that the borough rollback its enforcement of parking meters from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“10 p.m. is onerous,” Manion said.  “It’s way out of line with what I found in other places.  The only other place I could find that enforced meters until 10 p.m. was center city Philadelphia.”

However, Manion also acknowledged that rolling back the hours of enforcement would cost the borough an estimated $263,000 in revenue.

“When we instituted the 10 p.m. rule it was to fill a hole in the budget,” Manion said.  “I think that was a myopic solution. “

Council member Stephen Shinn echoed Manion and said that the longer enforcement hours could have unforeseen consequences on the downtown area.

“We could effectively cripple the downtown if we allow these hours to continue,” Shinn said.

Council president Holly Brown suggested that a lot of frustration with the parking situation comes from a lack of understanding about when the meters are enforced.

“There needs to be permanent signs on the driver’s side of the meter,” Brown said.  “I find that a customer’s lack of knowledge is where a lot of the anger comes from.”

“We need to ask ourselves if we want to be a town propped up by parking tickets,” Manion said.  “I do not.”

“I think some kind of conscious P.R. effort would be beneficial,” Norley said.

The parking committee will again discuss ways to improve public relations at the April committee meeting.

Amber March 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I have a very vivid memory of visiting the parking office to inquire why I received a ticket for an expired residential parking pass without warning. It was not a pleasant experience. The woman at the counter was flat-out rude -- She said it was "not her problem" that I didn't put the expiration date into my calendar. I agree with her, but a reminder letter or e-mail would have been nice, as would a better level of customer service.
Diane March 06, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I've solved the problem by never doing any shopping in the borough. It's quick enough to drive somewhere else with free parking.
nona March 06, 2012 at 04:33 PM
It is their problem. Pkg Dept is to place notices to residents when renewal is due. They also forgot in our area, and issued tickets, which were later forgiven, and THEN they sent the renewal notices....
nona March 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM
You're missing out by not taking a few extra minutes to walk further or use a garage to shop in West Chester. West Chester, for all its parking bugaboos, is worth every hassle of it....
LH March 07, 2012 at 03:31 AM
No. It is NOT worth it to shop in WC and be hassled by the Parking Nazis! I will not shop in Wayne for the same reason!!!
dutch March 08, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Why pay to shop when there are so many other places to shop for free?


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