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HISTORY LIVES: Car Parking

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Car Parking. For nearly 100 years, parking has been an issue in the Borough of Doylestown. On June 20, 1928, a letter to the borough council signed by residents and businessmen was written “to enter our protest to the proposed enforcement of anti-parking on both sides of West State Street. . .as it seriously interferes with our business...and the street is wide enough for four machines to pass.” In 1939, the Doylestown Chamber of Commerce, with more than 30 business owners present, met to suggest that “an effort be made to locate some lot in Doylestown where it is possible to park 75 or 100 cars, and that merchants should provide shoppers with free parking facilities by handing them parking tickets at a very nominal cost.”

With the completion of a “new” courthouse in 1962, a county parking garage was constructed. In 1969, a bond issue financed construction of a 50-space parking lot in the western side of the borough’s business district named Plaza West (behind The Doylestown Bookshop).

In June of 1979, borough council authorized acquisition and demolition of three buildings to make room for a 50-space lot in the eastern business district named Plaza East (behind today’s Frost Martini Bar). After lengthy delays, that lot formally opened in January 1982.

In 1992, parking was part of Doylestown’s revitalization plan, which called for a garage with several stories at the Plaza West site (the first floor was to contain retail shops). Community outcry eliminated that option. In 2010, the borough reached an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank to allow public free parking for 50 cars in the evenings and on weekends at 115 W. Court St.

In 2012 an in-town, four-story garage (with one floor underground) was again proposed to accommodate 150 cars; and again the proposal was defeated.

The parking situation was somewhat alleviated when the massive county justice center construction project of 2015 resulted in two new county parking garages which are “remote” but available for local use.

The four-tier garage at Broad and Union streets contains 1,200 spots and is available every day. The two-tier garage at Broad and Court streets can accommodate 150 cars and is available to the public on weekday evenings and weekends.

Doylestownhistorical.org


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