FOX43 Finds Out: Parking Problems in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa -- Charles Daughton takes a look at his most recent parking tickets.

It total, he has been slapped with abut 30 parking tickets in the last year.

"At least $500, probably more. That`s probably a low estimate," said Daughton.

He has lived on Coral Street in Lancaster for about three years and never had an issue with parking, until the Lancaster Parking Authority took over residential parking enforcement last year.

Daughton said, "They`re just doing their job. And I understand that. It`s hard not to get mad at them because they`re the ones issuing the tickets. But that`s what`s they`re supposed to do."

Where Daughton lives on Coral Street is not a parking permit block.

Which means anyone can park there and Daughton says spots fill up pretty quickly.

"There is absolutely no where to park in this street when you get home here at the end of the day."

The only place he`s allowed to pay to park right now to guarantee him a spot is at this Parking garage at the intersection of Prince Street and West Orange Street,

That`s about 14 blocks away from where Daughton lives.

He usually ends up parking on the 500 block of 3rd Street.

That is a residential permit parking street and he doesn`t have a permit.

Hence why he`s getting so many tickets.

Daughton says he knows he`s wrong in parking there without a permit.

"I know I am. But it`s the only place to park. And I take my chances. Some days they don`t get me and a lot of days they do."

Daughton says he wants to park on 3rd street and he's willing to pay for it.

He says there are only three homes on that section of Third street and, under the residential parking permit ordinance, each home gets two parking permits.

Daughton says there are way more than 6 parking spots available on 3rd street.

"I want to be able to park on this street. That`s all I want. Even if I have to pay a $35 permit a year. That`s better than paying all these tickets. That`s all that I want. That`s all that these neighbors want is the opportunity to be able to park there."

Another option is for Daughton to petition the Lancaster City Traffic commission to get his section of Coral Street to become a permitted street.

He would need to get about 75% of people who live on the street to agree and Daughton doesn`t think that would happen.

"You`re handcuffed. I don`t know what to do. I can`t afford not to pay these tickets and I can`t afford to get them."

FOX43 Finds Out asked the Lancaster Parking Authority if Daughton can park on Third Street and pay the $30 a year for a day and night parking permit on the street.

"Typical to the ordinance, if someone is not on that block, they can not park on that block. Now there's always a process that they can go through. They can make a petition to the city traffic commission and plead their case as to why they should be able to park on a block that they're not a resident of," said Larry Cohen is the Executive Director of the Lancaster parking authority.

He's been involved with city parking for 17 years.

In that time, he says he has seen some exceptions made by the traffic commission, as for Daughton`s case,  he`s not sure.

"If you allow one person to park in that block who's not park of the block, then don't you agree that you would have to allow everyone to park on that block whose not necessarily allowed to park on that block?"

However, he does say everything is considered on a case by case basis.

"You don't know what the outcome is going to be, but be heard and go from there."

The next Lancaster Traffic Commission meeting is scheduled for January 9th at 3:30pm.

Daughton says he is trying to re-arrange his schedule to make it to the meeting and plea his case to the commission.

Of course, if anything changes we`ll be following the story to see what happens.

If you have a story you want me to look into FOX43 wants to find out. let me know, send me a message on Facebook or shoot me an email at FOX43FindsOut@fox43.com.