By Mehmet Barzev
Metered parking violations will be more expensive within the Institutional District of East Stroudsburg Borough, including metered areas of East Stroudsburg University, beginning this winter.
The Institutional District for East Stroudsburg encompasses the vicinity of ESU and Pocono Medical Center.
The district includes all borough owned metered spaces along Prospect Street, Normal Street and Smith Street. Parking fees in this district are 25 cents for 15 minutes and an expired meter citation has climbed from $15 to $25.
The Downtown District, which is essentially every other metered parking spot in the borough, costs 10 cents per quarter hour, and an expired meter fine is $10.
Parking Enforcement Administrator Marv Walton said, “Historically, meters and fines have been more expensive in the Institutional District, as compared to other areas in the borough.”
Brian Bond, the Borough Manager in East Stroudsburg stated, “the cost for an expired meter citation in the Institutional District has been raised to match parking violation charges by ESU police, for on-campus violations.”
When asked if matching ESU costs were the sole reason for the increase Bond stated, “No. The Institutional District is an area where we [the Borough of East Stroudsburg] believe we can place a new electronic parking kiosk system. This would take the place of the existing parking meters, and would be electronic.” Bond further explained that another reason for the cost increase will defray the cost of the new equipment, which is around $17,000. “We hope to complete this project with meter and citation revenue, and without using money from tax collection,” Bond said.
Matthew Headen is a commuter student at ESU who said he was unaware of the fine increase.
When asked what he thought of the increase he said, “that stinks.” Headen also noted he doesn’t have a campus parking permit because of the cost.
He parks off campus in various free locations, then walks to class every day.
“I use the metered spots maybe two times a week,” Headen said.
“I don’t think it’s right that the meters around campus and the hospital are more expensive, and I don’t like the idea of increased ticket prices.”
Headen was unaware that the borough plans to add electronic kiosks to replace the parking meters.
“I don’t think they will improve the parking situation,” Headen said.
After discussing the possibility of multiple locations to pay for metered spots Headen said, “I think this is going to deter people from using the parking spots.
I can see the new system if the town plans to add more parking, or buy more lots, but otherwise I think they should leave it the way it is.”
The four new kiosks will be spread out along the Institutional District, offering multiple payment options and kiosk locations to purchase meter time.
The borough hopes they will be phased in over the next two years, as long as funds are available. There are similar systems being utilized in Stroudsburg, Allentown and Bethlehem.
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