Parking meter in downtown Reading

READING, Pa. – Parking troubles came up again in Reading City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night.

Council heard from North Ninth Street resident Maddie Felix, who has previously complained to council about the city's recent installation of parking meters in the 200 and 300 blocks of North Ninth Street.

"Matters between individuals in the neighborhood have gotten worse as more people are getting tickets," Felix said. “We can't afford to pay a meter every few hours. Parking is really difficult to find. Many of us have to park two or three blocks away."

Council asked Nathan Matz, Reading Parking Authority executive director, to address the concerns.

Matz said one of the primary reasons meters were installed was to address the problem of double-parking in the two blocks.

"We had complaints from the business owners because there was no turnover in parking for customers because residents would not move their cars," he explained. "That was forcing patrons of businesses to double-park."

Matz said the parking authority is slowly attempting to address parking problems all across the city.

He added the authority is currently negotiating the purchase of a lot one block away from North Ninth Street, which could make 40 off-street spaces available.

To address the immediate concerns of the residents, Matz advised Felix to get a petition from neighbors, which could result in the residents getting a residential parking permit for the block.

He also said the closest parking garage to the area is the Poplar and Walnut garage, where residents can purchase a parking permit for $39 a month, which is a 50% reduction from commercial permits.

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