Reading Residents PO'd Over Paid Parking

Reading residents and business owners are mad over money, well at least spending it on things they didn't have to spend it on before.

Starting soon, visitors to downtown Reading will be forced to feed the meter near the Sovereign Center arena.

City Council recently approved a deal that will require parking meters be paid until at least 8 p.m., even later on some nights. That's a significant chunk of change coming out of the pockets of residents, considering that meters stop at 6 p.m. now.

It could cost event goers up to $3 extra to park now after 6 p.m. at city meters popular by those looking to avoid the $5 fee to park in a city-owned garage.

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The decision to change the parking rules is defended by the city's Parking Authority.

"I think it's only fair that they make a nominal contribution to the parking authority for parking at Sovereign Center events to level the playing field for those that use the garages and parking lots," said Larry Lee with the Reading Parking Authority.

But those paying the meters aren't the only ones mad (or worried) about the change.

Local business owners fear that paid parking may discourage patrons from coming out, which will only cut into profits.

"I don't want everybody who comes here to eat to get a ticket," said Chinese Bowl owner Yam Chang.

Chang's customers are already complaining about the meter hike, she said.

The first big event at the Sovereign Center is the Reading Royals home opener on Oct. 22. On that date authorities will only issue warnings but after that it'll be a $20 fine for not feeding the meter.


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