Saturday parking begins on Harrisburg parade day

Green and gold adorn Restaurant Row as Harrisburg is ready to go Irish during its St. Patrick's Parade and celebration Saturday.

A new tradition begins this weekend: paying to park on Saturdays.

Streets will be filled with those donned in Kelly green to watch Harrisburg's annual Capital Region Association of Irish and Celts parade.

Those headed to the parade must be aware that Saturday parking enforcement begins at 8 a.m.

One man said most will try to avoid meters altogether.

“People are going to try to find a place to park a little distance away,” he said. “That's my opinion, to try and walk on down, try and save some money.”

Thomas Considine, who lives downtown, believes the Saturday parking enforcement could clog Shipoke and Midtown neighborhoods.

“I think neighborhoods are going to be overwhelmed with people that are not going to pay to park downtown,” he said.

Standard Parking issued a news release this week announcing a one-day discount.

The Market Square Parking Garage near 2nd and Chestnut streets will offer an all-day flat rate of $10. The 7th Street Parking Garage near Forster Street will offer an all-day flat-rate of $5.

However, CRAIC President John Williams called the abc27 Newsroom to say the 7th Street Garage deal was supposed to be for parade participants only. Several calls to Standard Parking and CRAIC were not returned Friday.

The 7th Street Garage has 1,187 spaces including 15 handicap spaces and 152 parking spots adjacent to the garage.

All other meters, both old and newly operational, will be at their respective rates between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Considine said the idea behind Saturday parking could hurt not only parade attendance, but weekend business.

“It's a contradiction,” he said. “You want to bring business in, you want to bring people downtown, but at the same time you're going to charge them an arm and leg.”

Motorcycle and scooter riders should know that traditional parking spaces no longer exist. Pennsylvania law allows multiple motorcycles to park in one space, but because Harrisburg parking is mostly “pay-by-plate,” where license plates dictate parking payment, each bike must feed the meter.

Harrisburg's parade begins at 2 p.m. Most likely, Standard Parking workers will bag or make parade route meters non-operational before and during the parade, then turn them back on shortly afterward.

So, you can still hear bagpipes and enjoy a pint, just be aware those guys in bright green jackets are not leprechauns handing out rainbows but $30 parking tickets.


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