It’s a scenario that many drivers who commute to the city are all too familiar with. You finally find a spot on the street to parallel park but when you return to your car, you spot another car “double parked” right next to yours, stopping you from getting out.
To double park means to park your vehicle on the roadway side of a car that’s already parked at the curb. Yet while double parking is bad enough, Tamara Dolan, the Executive Director of the Allentown Parking Authority, says that some drivers take it a step further, double parking even when there’s a free spot nearby, a practice described as “lazy double parking.”
“Your vehicle is stopped in the lane traffic which is the classic definition of double parking,” said Dolan. “Yet you’re parking next to an open parking space!”
To stop the laziness, Allentown passed an ordinance that allows the parking authority to fine lazy double parkers an additional $100 on top of the initial $100 for double parking. Those guilty of three “lazy double parking” offenses face a $300 fine.
“Some folks accept that they should not have double parked and blocked the lane of traffic,” said Jason Blake, an Allentown Parking Control Officer. “And then for some folks, they feel as though they have the right to do that.”
The Allentown Parking Authority has written over 100 lazy double parking tickets this year. Local business owner Josh Tucker worries that it could hurt the city’s economy however.
“We have people picking up furniture,” he said. “There may not be a parking space and they might have to double park. We don’t want to chase customers away.”
Dolan insists however that the ordinance is mainly meant to scare the “lazy” out of drivers.
“It’s meant to be a deterrent,” she said. “It’s meant to make people understand this is just not an appropriate way to get around town.”