Northampton Press

Saturday, January 20, 2018
Colonial Regional Police Department Chief Roy Seiple answers questions from angry Bath residents about an alleged recent parking ticket “sweep” in the Old Forge neighborhood.PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR. Colonial Regional Police Department Chief Roy Seiple answers questions from angry Bath residents about an alleged recent parking ticket “sweep” in the Old Forge neighborhood.PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR.

Parking woes anger residents of Bath

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by BILL LEINER JR. Special to The Press in Local News

Although not present at the beginning of Bath Borough Council’s meeting Dec. 4, Colonial Regional Police Department (CRPD) Chief Roy Seiple got the proverbial earful upon his arrival.

A room full of angry residents attended to protest an increase of parking tickets in the Old Forge area. A number of residents reported they called CRPD to complain but were told to call the borough office. Residents insisted they were told the borough asked CRPD to write numerous tickets, described by one resident as “a sweep.”

Each parking ticket has a $20 fine.

Mayor Fiorella Reginelli-Mirabito called Seiple and invited him to the meeting. The chief showed up within 20 minutes.

Seiple entertained numerous resident questions. Residents asked why it happened now. One stated the she has been living in Bath for four years and never received a ticket for parking her car on the street in front of her driveway. Another resident commented there are not enough parking places. She said it is not fair, adding many people in Old Forge cannot afford a $20 ticket.

Seiple said there were complaints to the borough office about other residents parking in front of their neighbors’ driveways. When CRPD was notified by the borough office to ticket offenders, Seiple complied with the request.

This prompted a resident to ask why CRPD did not knock on the residents’ doors to ask that the car be removed. Another said the sweep was excessive.

Seiple pointed out there were cars improperly parked with out-of-state plates, such as Virginia and New York.

“Put yourself in the officers’ shoes,” Seiple said. “They can’t be knocking on doors for cars out of state.”

Council President Mark Saginario said council will look into the matter. Parking ordinances are being updated. He explained CRPD will be replaced by the Pennsylvania State Police in January 2019.

The discussion ended with the crowd quiet but not satisfied. Saginario said parking has been a decades-old problem in Bath. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is doing a traffic and parking study to assist in alleviating the parking woes.