Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Crane Street parking vote delayed

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Resident says he is more afraid of exposure to crime than he is of fire

At Catasauqua Borough Council’s last meeting, council members tabled discussion about ordinances banning parking on Limestone and Crane streets. The measures came to the fore during council’s meeting Jan. 9 when residents attending the meeting offered their input.

Catasauqua residents Tony Chickilly and Mike Bottazzi made several arguments against the ban.

The fire department is making the request to remove parking spaces because clearance is tight when a fire truck is dispatched on either of these streets.

“We sent a fire truck down the street and had maybe three inches of clearance,” borough Fire Chief Richard Hertzog said. “Firefighters could not even open the door, let alone set up for a fire.”

Chickilly claims he can carve out a space. His home is near the Methodist church.

“I’ve lived here for 40 years, and the house we are in is comfortable. You can’t put a value on parking, but it is important to us,” he said.

Councilwoman Jessica Kroope wanted to delay the process until other parking options could be found.

Mike Bottazzi’s situation is different. He has no parking options.

“If we can’t park on the street, we will need to park blocks away from the house,” he said. “I fear for our safety, having the car so far away.”

Bottazzi said crime has increased in the area.

“In all the time I lived there, I haven’t had a problem with a fire, but crime is up and I can see drug deals going down at the end of the street,” he told The Press after the meeting. “I’m more afraid of that crime than a problem with the fire truck.”

Chickilly questioned whether restricting parking is going to solve any problems.

The council voted 4-2 to delay implementing a parking ban on Crane Street, with Councilman Brian McKittrick and Councilwoman Christine Weaver against the delay.

Prior to the vote, borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder warned that if the council could not reach a decision by the end of January, then the proposed ordinance would need to be re-advertised.

Chickilly was pleased with the outcome.

“I can show them how we can make this work,” he said after the meeting.

Bottazzi was not confident.

“I don’t know where I can go and park that would be safe,” he said. “They want to close the road to parking.”

Parking on Limestone Street was another matter.

No residents from the street were present. Council assumed there were no objections and passed the ordinance for a parking ban there, so parking is now prohibited on both sides of Limestone Street, although there is a section between Wood Street and Peach Street where parking is allowed on the west side of the street.

In other action, the council passed a series of measures reaffirming appointments for the upcoming year for engineering and auditing services.

Council also reappointed Hertzog as fire chief and approved his list of officers, drivers and operators.