Back-in Parking Receives Backlash from Waterford Businesses
Serendipity Emporium owner Vivian Pietrzak says the changes to parking in downtown Waterford, have cost her a lot.
"There's businesses closing or moving,” said Pietrzak. “This town is going to become a ghost town.”
Last July, PennDOT converted the Waterford business district to reverse-angle, back-in parking.
Ever since, Pietrzak says her sales have been down 30 percent. She’s also had her car hit two times.
“In the 16 years before, I never had a problem like that,” said Pietrzak. “The first time we got hit, it was about $400 worth. The second one, was over $2,000."
Her neighboring businesses also express concern.
"I have a variety of complaints as people come into the store,” said Above & Beyond owner Kathleen Cowley. “Especially the elderly, having difficulty backing in."
"We have a lot of older clients that come here, and we're losing business because they aren't coming here anymore because they don't want to back in,” said Waterford Barber Shop barber Garrett Reinwald. “A lot of younger people don't want to back in either."
"I hear more honking and more fingers flipped in the air now, that are trying to back in,” said Pour House manager Peggy Rathbun. “It definitely has hurt a lot of the businesses here."
Dave Malec owns many of the buildings in the business district.
"When I don't have any renters here and I get tax bills and things, I don't know what I'm going to do,” said Malec. “There has to be some sort of a solution here, and right now, backing in is not the solution.”
Some businesses have placed flyers in their windows, urging others to attend the next Waterford Borough Council meeting, which is scheduled for May 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Waterford Municipal Building.
A phone call to the Waterford Borough building was not returned.