Parking kiosks should allow for Smart Cards

For more than a half century, parking in the Chestnut Hill lots has been free to those who shop, eat or just enjoy the ambience of our “Suburb in the City.”

With the increasing unwillingness of local merchants to subsidize the lots, a new way had to be found to pay for their security and maintenance. “AH!”, someone thought, “let’s charge for parking.”

While understandable, that changes the nature of our community in a way that might keep drivers from coming to the Hill.

The decision was made to engage the Philadelphia Parking Authority to patrol the lots, install kiosks like those in Center City and ticket cars who stay too long at their parking spot, just like they do at the meters on the Avenue and other streets.

The local kiosks, unlike their downtown cousins and the local meters, will not accept the Smart Cards that the PPA sells.

Therefore if a visitor not familiar with Chestnut Hill’s unique kiosk regulations comes to the Hill and tries to use a Smart Card, it will be denied. If others are like I am, they won’t keep change in their cars if they have the card, so they might flee out of frustration, never to return.

The kiosks have the potential of alienating both old friends and new visitors.

Isn’t there a better way? As it now stands, the money from the kiosks goes to the CHPA and the ticket money to the city. If Smart Cards are used, the CHPA loses that money. Is that too high a price to pay for the good will that the community seeks, some of which will already be lost from now charging for what formerly was free?

Clark Groome
North Wales

Design Show House hunting

The Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment is searching for the next Fall Show House.

We were delighted to bring the Show House back to Chestnut Hill last fall. It brought an incredibly talented group of interior designers, artists, galleries and landscape architects together to produce a warm and welcoming experience for hundreds of visitors.

This project brought friends together as volunteers, brought business to the shops and restaurants in Chestnut Hill and re-energized a great fundraiser for our Center.

And we want to do it again. We are looking for a house with at least 20-25 design spaces, owners who are willing to enjoy the talents of wonderful designers as they create change in the house and agree to have the house vacant for two months. Parking in the area is an important component.

The show house will be open to the public for one month from mid-September through mid-October.  Designers will need at least one month prior to work their magic.

If you would like more information, please call CHCE at 215-248-0180.

Andrea Imperatore
Eileen Newcomb
Marilyn Paucker
Co-Chairs, Design Show House


  • Circleoffits

    In regards to this idyllic suburb in the city, charging for parking while half of the stores in the area are vacant, is preposterous. It will quickly and efficiently drive people away, including locals who will now have to pay to use a lot for running into the bank, or to stop by and pick up organic veggies at Weaver’s Way. There’s a real problem in this area, and money isn’t one of them. Using the excuse that these lots need to generate revenue to be maintained is ridiculous. I mean, you could hire a 15 year old to cut the lawn. Then that 15 year old can take the ten dollars he earned and get a ride to the mall, where he can find something to do and somewhere to spend his hard earned cash. There certainly isn’t anywhere for him to go around here, unless he wants his nails done or his shirts pressed.

    This will trickle down, and lead to even more alienation, more vacancies and more dissent.

    • Mikehugh2

      If a business has its own parking, that business will definitely benefit from the PPA kiosks and enforcement. The current proposal for the development of 8200 will restrict the use of that lot to customers of the proposed grocery store. If the PPA writes tickets in the public lots around the Hill as aggressively as they do downtown and in other neighborhoods around the city, and if the fine is the same (very expensive!), all the businesses that depend on these formerly free lots could be in trouble. Hopefully the CHCA, CHBA, et all will work aggressively with the PPA so that this whole kiosk idea does not become a problem.