This morning when I arrived in Malvern Borough for a creative meeting with colleagues I could barely get into the municipal parking lot across King from the Buttery safely. There was a giant pick up truck with a flatbed trailer attached to it parking behind the spaces in the lot. It belonged to workmen working on the property on the other side of the fence.
I did not photograph the truck (because I bet they were just told to park there that it would be OK and they took someone’s word at face value) , but in photo above you can see where I am talking about and imagine for yourself how difficult it was to navigate that parking lot and parking spaces with something that took up easily three quarters of the length of the parking lot which is not particularly deep to begin with.
As I was getting parked someone came out to the truck which was an out of local vicinity truck. I saw the guy and I said “Hi, I hate to bother you but do you actually have permission from Malvern to park like this and leave your truck and trailer parked here?”
The guy responded “I think so?”
So I said “I’m not trying to give you a hard time but it was very difficult to park, so I hope you’re not offended if I call Malvern Borough and ask.”
As I was dialing Malvern Borough, they magically moved the truck out of the municipal parking lot. The person who answered the phone at the borough transferred me to the police so I asked the police if this truck had permission to park like this because it was really difficult to navigate the parking lot with it parked there. I also told whoever the man was (who did not identify himself nor did he ask me for any of my information) that as soon as I asked them if they had permission to park a construction vehicle there they got someone to move the truck and trailer.
The response from this gentleman was polite but you could tell the last thing he wanted to do was speak to some woman trying to park in the municipal parking lot and having issues.
He said to me that basically I needed to understand that they tried to cut local business people a break. And I said to him it wasn’t a local business person it was a very out of area truck and trailer parked in a municipal lot. And that they were not displaying anything that indicated they had permission to park there. (which prompted my phone call in the first place.)
He also told me well he didn’t have a problem with them offloading equipment and then moving the truck, which I actually agree with because it’s just being polite. BUT if I had not asked them if they had permission to park there all day I bet they would’ve left the truck there all day and that’s not fair to people who want to utilize a municipal parking lot in the first place is it?
The idea behind municipal parking lots anywhere especially in small towns is to get visitors’ vehicles off the streets and in a safe spot. That way residents have places to park their own cars and visitors can,well, enjoy their visits, right?
Since this part of Malvern Borough has been built up with Eastside Flats there are often issues with how people park. I always park where I am supposed to because I don’t want to inconvenience any business or resident. But I find, shall we say commercial vehicles, aren’t so considerate. I have also taken photos of what it was like trying to get out of the parking lot and back onto King.
There is always a perpetually parked UPS truck for Eastside Flats. For some reason they seem to always park right in front of the pedestrian crosswalks. The pedestrian crosswalks are lovely but people don’t get what they are and why they are there and they aren’t enforced, so crossing King there is still a bit of a game of chicken.
On the same side of the street as the municipal lot on the opposing corner was some kind of a clean out of another property. Two trucks. I have included another photo that shows where one of those trucks was parked which made it extraordinarily difficult to get out of there safely onto King because they were right on the corner.
Sightlines are supposed to be clear, right? it’s a safety issue right? It’s something that planners are always supposed to take into consideration and see that they are done properly right?
I adore Malvern Borough but I humbly suggest that they revisit some of these trouble spots with parking and traffic before somebody gets in an accident and hurt.
I’m chalking this up to growing pains. But it is something that this town needs to figure out as they grow and move forward into the future. It’s also what other towns should look at when they have giant developers who want to come build things on their Main Streets.