Visitors to New Hope this weekend will undoubtedly be surprised to learn that it now costs twice as much to park as the last time they came to town.
That’s because the rate has been doubled effective Saturday to $1.50 per hour, up from 75 cents per hour.
The increase was approved by borough council at its July 28 public meeting.
“We had been considering a rate increase to fund needed streetscape improvements, but the coronavirus has disrupted those plans,” the borough said in a press release. “The pandemic has caused unforeseeable hardship for all the local merchants, as well as for the borough. Our council decided it was prudent to move ahead with this long-discussed parking increase to protect the basic services that our residents depend upon. The borough has not raised taxes in over five years, and this parking increase will hopefully help raise much needed funds.”
“Oh my god, this is absolutely outrageous, especially during the pandemic,” said Peter Markowicz, owner of Exquisite Earth at 126 S. Main St. “This is how they are helping the small businesses and trying to bring people to town? Unbelievable!”
The borough emphasized in its statement that rates had not been increased in 18 years, and are comparable with other municipalities.
“The new rates remain substantially lower than private lots and other parking options in the region.”
The rate increase affects public parking spaces served by the borough’s kiosk system, not private lots.