The Lancaster Parking Authority is about maxed-out on parking offerings, according to its executive director.
And the authority will need to add parking in several years to meet higher anticipated demand, according to Larry Cohen. So now’s the time to start planning.
The demand will come — in part — from a 96-room hotel planned next to the Lancaster County Convention Center, more and larger conventions that are anticipated at the center and other economic development, according to a report Cohen put together.
Cohen said he thinks there’s a misperception that there’s an abundance of parking because of the number of parking garages in the city.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Roads are empty.
Schools are dark.
The mall is closed.
Emergency workers are at their posts.
Skies darkened and rain began falling hard as the county hunkered down, waiting for Hurricane Sandy to howl through here with its full power later today.
“Get out now,” said Mayor Rick Gray, urging residents to evacuate in flood-prone areas of the city. “If it doesn’t flood, thank God. If it does flood, you’re safe. We don’t want to be in a position to put our police officers and our firefighters in harm’s way because you didn’t evacuate.”
The first significant power outage hit late this morning, when about 600 people lost their electricity in the Elizabeth Township area, after power lines were reported down along Route 322 there.
But for most of the county, the morning was the calm before the Frankenstorm as local residents, who had days to buy flashlight batteries, stock up on water and clean out their gutters, waited for the storm.
Plans for Fulton Bank‘s expansion near Lancaster‘s Penn Square may have been delayed by two years, but those plans have also increased in size by 75 percent.
The county’s largest bank now plans an eight-story office building, with a two-level underground parking garage at 23 E. King St.
Project planners on Tuesday provided no cost estimate for the 159.000-square-foot building which will replace the former Sovereign Bank building now on the site.
The building was originally slated for completion in 2013. In May, Fulton announced it would be begin construction next spring of a 91,000-square-foot, six story building that was due to be completed in spring 2015.
It is always nice to see an improvement in service while reducing costs. The Lancaster Parking Authority has done just that by replacing security details patrolling the parking garages in center city by car with security officers on bicycles. It is felt that the officers on bicycles are highly visible and approachable if help is needed by a customer.
The reason for this change was not due to any increased criminal activity. The change was made to improve customer service and safety. The side benefit is saving the Parking Authority money. The city has contracted these services through Allied Barton. The decision to go with Allied Barton was made using advice from Lancaster PD, Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster General Hospital, as well as the Parking Authority.
Two officers were contracted for $70,000 through Allied Barton and will work 11 hours shifts riding around downtown Lancaster’s five garages, being highly visible in their yellow shirts. The security officers carry handcuffs and mace. In the event backup is needed, the Parking Authority bike officers will contact the James Street Improvement District bicycle ambassadors as first responders. City police are only contacted as needed. The James Street Improvement District already uses Allied Barton for their bicycle ambassador program.
This program will save the Parking Authority $10,000 to $20,000 per year by substituting Allied Barton staff for Parking Authority staff. Allied Barton specializes in security and the Parking Authority specializes in parking cars so the change makes sense. It is expected that the new bike team will put 40 miles per day on their bikes while patrolling.