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Parking Problems Plague the Hellertown Post Office

We all know that Hellertown has its share of parking problems, and the area around the post office is no exception. Check out what I discovered.

I’m back after a long hiatus. My editor and I met a couple of times this fall to decide in what capacity I would continue to work for Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch. What we came up with is nothing short of miraculous. I am to be YOUR quality of life detective, and Hellertown is going to be my beat.

It doesn’t matter if it’s something great or something that needs to be improved. All that matters is that if I see or hear about it, I will inform you about it. And if you see something you want me to investigate you can shoot me an e-mail at joshuagillem@live.com. I can't guarantee that I'll be able to resolve the problem, but I will certainly be happy to lend you an ear, and perhaps share your issue with other Patch readers.

My inaugural investigative subject is a problem parking situation in Hellertown.

I began to look into this matter after a borough resident pointed out to me that there are often parking problems at the , which is located at 660 Delaware Ave. He also said driving past the post office can be difficult due to common parking practices, which sometimes constrict the flow of traffic on Delaware, causing a "bottleneck" effect.

After I headed over to the post office and observed the flow of traffic around it, I found that he was right.

I saw that because some post office patrons chose to park on either side of the street, passing motorists had to take turns driving down the middle of Delaware Avenue in order to get around parked vehicles.

There aren't official signs that would prohibit parking on either side of this narrow street, but there is yellow paint (which in some cases is barely visible) on some sections of the curb in front of the post office.

What I found most astounding during my visit was many motorists' disregard for the fire hydrant right outside the post office's entrance.

The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (see the attached PDF) states that a car cannot stand or park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. This law exists to ensure that fire engines will have immediate access to hydrants in the event of an emergency. Just think about what the result might be if a fire broke out while your car was parked next to a hydrant, and you weren't able to start it to move it out of the way? It's a long shot, but things like this can and have happened.

In addition to people parking next to the fire hydrant, I observed a number of motorists parking along sections of curb that are painted yellow. The yellow paint means that you cannot park there for longer than it takes to unload a passenger. It also means that the driver is supposed to stay in the car--not go inside the post office and stand in line for 10 minutes.

There is also a law that prohibits people from parking within 30 feet of a stop sign, yet I observed this one being ignored as well, with motorists parking much too close to the stop sign at the southeast corner of Delaware and Water.

I understand that we are all in a hurry. Our civilization revolves around instant access to just about everything. So, in order to save time, we do things that we shouldn’t.

An example of this is parking on the street, even though there is a perfectly adequate parking lot right across the street from our destination. That’s where I parked when I snapped my pics of the situation at the post office.

The next time you're headed there--even if you're in a hurry--I encourage you to check the lot for available parking. Then, if there is no parking available and you still need to mail your stuff right away, park in the street briefly and legally. Or, if you live in the neighborhood and are able, consider walking to the post office.

If you do drive, remember that if there is no parking in the lot, and the street is full of cars, the post office will be jammed with people ( after all). It might be a better idea to come back later.

On the other hand, . Which is why I challenge the police to step up and make the town some money by addressing this problem. That way, those of us that abide by the law won’t have to bear the burden of a greater tax increase when the need arises.

AnnaMarie Hunsberger December 07, 2011 at 12:59 PM
You are correct. It is a mad house there. Perhaps if they put the mail boxes back on the street so you can put the mail in without getting out of the car.
Ron Hari December 07, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Another part of the problem is that there are no drive by drop mailboxes anymore.....
Mary Anne Looby December 07, 2011 at 01:11 PM
There is also a parking lot next to the post office I drive out of my way to avoid this place. Parking is a problem, but the people who work there also contribute to it. I have stood in line so many times while the "locals chat about this that and everything else" with the workers, who are just as bad. It's like a morning coffee clatch, It is by far the worst PO I have ever used! If they would stop their yaking, people would get in and out much faster.
Mary Beth December 07, 2011 at 01:16 PM
More drive by drop boxes would really help. The only one I know of is at Society Hill Complex when you exit the complex. Any others?
Bob Lightner December 07, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Yes, there are a great number of parking violations; however, they are all Hellertown residents who will come and go quickly. I suspect that the Hellertown police have intentionally looked the other way and I find their behavior in this regard to be commendable. Why make a mountain out of a mole hill ?
Mary Anne Looby December 07, 2011 at 04:35 PM
@Bob Lightner, if the local residents would come and go quickly and the workers would move a little faster there would not be a problem. I have pulled up in front (there are about two legal spaces) run in for stamps only to have to wait three times as long as necessary. I am not talking about people sending packages etc, these are people who are dropping off mail and want to give it directly to the guy at the counter so as to have a conversation. They talk about the latest news etc. It is awful!
Joshua Gillem December 08, 2011 at 02:42 PM
I think that would only fix a part of the problem. A lot of people will still go into the PO after parking illegally. That could help though.
Joshua Gillem December 08, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Hi, Allen. I live on Ilona as well, and I know who you are talking about. It can be very difficult to see when pulling out. I've almost been hit several times just pulling out of my street. What drives me even crazier is when he pulls down our street to turn around. I think he tries to get the van to go as fast as he can before slowing down. I have two little kids, and it can be a little scary. Thanks for the comment.
Joshua Gillem December 08, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Thanks for your comment Bob. I agree that they are all most likely Hellertown residents. Unfortunately, they are not coming and going quickly. They are either taking their time because the line is too long, or because people are chatting on the inside. Bottom line, parking right next to a fire hydrant is illegal.
Joshua Gillem December 08, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Thanks to everyone for the comments and emails. I'll look into what you all suggested to me. I understand that I will upset some people with articles like this. I apologize. However, these problems will be addressed regardless of people's feelings concerning these topics. Once again, thanks for all of the comments and emails. Josh
Hellertown Geek December 09, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Hi Josh, Great article about the parking situation in Hellertown. I, too, have witnessed this problem when driving and bicycling down in the neighborhood near the post office. I do have a complaint, however, which has nothing to do with your article. The PDF that you attached is hosted by Scribd, which restricts access to the content to those who do not choose to sign up for their service. Viewing and printing works fine, of course, but downloading is disabled by default. This may very well be something built into the Patch system, in which case, perhaps you're not the one to talk to about it. Could documents on your articles be, perhaps, hosted somewhere else? Either way, awesome article!
Josh Popichak (Editor) December 10, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Hi Helllertown Geek, I'm the one who uploaded the PDF of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code--because I thought it might be an interesting reference for readers. The hosting by Scribd is a Patch feature and not something I have control over. What hosting service would you recommend we use instead of Scribd and why? I can certainly pass any input along. Best wishes, Josh

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