CRIME PREVENTION IN THE
SMALL BOROUGH OF
Posted March 21, 2013
I attended a meeting the other day and parked my car on the main street in town, where I do not usually park. I exited my car with my purse, my backpack, my quarters, and my keys in hand, and approached the parking meter
It was puzzling. There was a single meter at each end of the car. Which one goes with this parking place? I counted back and determined, to the best of my ability, which meter should receive my quarters.
Only then did I realize that the meter was for two hours.
Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to come back in the midst of the meeting to put more quarters in.
I put my quarter in and it didn’t register. Oops, I must have picked up one of the Canadian quarters laying on my counter.
I inserted two American quarters and went to my meeting a half block away.
Before sitting down I rummaged through my purse to find some quarters. All I had was Canadian quarters.
“Why don’t you move your car to the back lot?” other attendees suggested. They proffered two American quarters and I headed to the car. I couldn’t move it. I’d left my keys back at the meeting.
Guess I’ll have to leave the meeting to feed the meter. I don’t want to come back out now.
Twenty minutes before the time allowed I exited the meeting, put the required quarters in the meter, and returned to the meeting.
I was safe. The time took me until after 5:00 p. m. when meters stop eating quarters.
After the meeting I went to the car to stash my backpack before meeting some friends for dinner at the restaurant across the street from where I’d parked. There was 15 minutes left on the meter.
Then I saw it, attached to my windshield. A bright yellow envelope! A $7.00 parking ticket.
What the…? Oh, no…I must have counted the meters wrong.
NOTE: The ticket issue was resolved favorably.
When I entered the restaurant I slammed my keys on the table before I sat down.
“Why didn’t you park in the back lot?” one friend asked me.
“Because I didn’t want to walk back there after dark and I thought I’d park just once.”
“Nobody’s going to attack you,” they said, “not here in Ligonier (PA).”
“Probably not,” I conceded, “but it’s better to be proactive.”
Not too long ago I’d been told how safe Ligonier was. I was at the grocery store, where I use the child safety belt to secure my purse to the cart. The young lady bagging groceries had to help me unhook the damaged seat belt.
“You don’t need to do this,” she said. “There’s no crime in Ligonier. No one will take your purse.”
Maybe she was right.
A couple of days later I talked to a friend.
“I was in the grocery store a while ago and someone took my purse from the cart,” she said.
Yes, we are a crime-free town. So crime-free that the borough is considering how to mount cameras around the Diamond (the central feature of the downtown area), cameras with a “zoom capability…(that) is very impressive. For example, a camera on Town Hall could zoom across the Diamond and focus in on someone’s speedometer.”
There are four new cameras with this apparent capability.
Four cameras area already mounted on the Diamond, but the Dogwood blossoms block their view of license plates.
I’m willing to acknowledge the center of town does have a problem. Vehicles jump the curb and “damage the roundabout at the picturesque hub of the borough…Errant motorists have caused more than $10,000 worth of damage to the Diamond in the last few years…The concrete curb lining its circumference is chipped and cracked. Deep muddy ruts mar the grass. Some brickwork has been destroyed…”
Although the cameras won’t prevent this damage “You’ll be able to see who it is, chase them down, and seek compensation for the damages…but it won’t protect the Diamond.”
[My husband said he hopes we will die before they begin placing surveillance cameras in coffins to protect us from illegal activity in our afterlife.]
The quaint atmosphere maintained by the borough and so pleasing and attractive to visitors and residents already loses its appeal through parking meter complaints. Will the Big Brother surveillance cameras take away its quaint character?
Then it might as well be Anytown, U. S. A.
NOTE: When I contacted the Borough office to complain about the ticket I was told I had “given a gift to the person who parked at the meter I put money in.” NO one was parked there when I was there. As for a gift—a gift is freely given. I intended the meter fee to protect my car from a ticket.
A written complaint was submitted and the issue was resolved favorably..
SOURCE: Effort targets street damage, Jewels Phraner, Greensburg Tribune-Review, March 21, 2013, pp B6