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Pickleball Parking Issues: Anger Reading City Residents

Pickleball Parking Issues: Monday night’s Reading City Council meeting saw an outpouring of frustration from residents on Old Wyomissing Road, who have found themselves in a parking predicament due to recent adjustments accommodating the popular pickleball courts in West Reading. About a dozen residents voiced concerns over the shift from curbside to head-on parking with angled lines, forcing pickleball players to make U-turns to park and detracting from the neighborhood’s aesthetic appeal.

Longtime resident Neil Kloiber, who has lived in the area for over two decades, lamented the change, stating, ‘It’s not like a park-like setting anymore, and we’re tired of it.’ He also highlighted the issues of trash, noise, and illegal parking, adding, ‘They parked at the stop signs, they parked in our driveway, so we couldn’t even get out of our cars.’

Neighbor Teba Bass expressed safety concerns due to narrowed lanes making it hazardous for large vehicles. “Ultimately, we’ve been greatly impacted because of that now, now that we have commercial parking across the street from us,” Bass said. City officials acknowledged that the parking changes happened within the past week and aimed to address the community’s concerns.

City Council Member Vanessa Campos acknowledged the valid concerns and mentioned discussions with the city’s engineer and public works director to find a resolution. “They have valid concerns of just ‘What happens now?’ and why they weren’t communicated with the changes that were going to happen,” said Campos. Council President Donna Reed assured residents their concerns would be taken seriously, promising, “We will take this seriously. We’re not going to push this off.”

Pickleball Parking Issues

Redevelopment Authority’s 2023 Accomplishments

Later in the meeting, Fred Thompson, chairperson of the Reading Redevelopment Authority, presented the 2023 accomplishments. Thompson highlighted the development of financial procedures policies, blighted remediation strategies, and a manual of operating procedures. He proudly reported raising $126,000 for four properties and acquiring $150,000 in property transfers to the city.

Looking ahead, Thompson expressed the need for $1.5 million from the city in 2025 to continue these efforts. His presentation underscored the authority’s commitment to addressing blight and enhancing operational efficiency, signaling a positive trajectory for Reading’s redevelopment initiatives.

Council Approves New Contracts and Personnel Changes

The council also handled a variety of other business matters. They authorized a $38,664.75 contract with Commercial Flooring Professionals to replace the Public Works garage and shop office flooring, improving safety and health. The facility, built in 2004, needs new flooring as the current ones are beyond repair. Replacing the old carpeting with a more durable material will improve cleaning procedures and provide a safer workspace, according to the resolution.

Additionally, eight probationary patrol officers were conditionally offered employment effective July 1: John Lopez, Eric Himmel, Dakota Schaeffer, Devon Ferrero, Liam Martin, Ayden Lewis, Carlos Guerrero-Montanez, and Julian Nguyen. Criminal Investigator John McKeever was promoted to sergeant in the police department.

Several contracts were awarded, including one to The Warko Group for $672,686 for HVAC improvements at the Reading Area Firefighters Museum and another to HB Fraser for $182,000 for the project’s electrical phase. The council also approved selling a 1993 Mack TK Fire Apparatus for $6,685 through an auction on Municibid.

Addressing Community and Environmental Concerns

In personnel matters, the council amended the personnel code to increase the salary range for the traffic engineer from no more than $75,000 to no more than $95,000. Additionally, the position ordinance was updated to set a new salary for the Public Works public outreach and education coordinator at $36,400, an increase of $10 in the current hourly rate. This position, vacant since July 2023, is responsible for robust community engagement on various environmental laws and pollution reduction strategies, emphasizing the city’s commitment to addressing climate change.

The council also passed several new ordinances, including amendments to the City Code Chapter 23, Part 15 Youth Commission, to add a removal procedure for failure to attend three meetings, misconduct, or neglect of duty. Similarly, City Code Chapter 515 Subdivision and Land Development was amended to address parking and loading issues, reflecting the council’s proactive approach to urban planning and community welfare.

Funding and Community Initiatives

The council authorized an allocation of $657,500 from the American Rescue Plan Act funds to be distributed in various amounts to small businesses in the city, aiming to support local economic growth and recovery.

Cathedral Street, located between Front Street and Centre Avenue/Route 61, was renamed ‘R-Phils Drive,’ honoring the local community’s spirit and history. This renaming is part of a broader initiative to recognize and celebrate Reading’s cultural heritage.

In the wake of these decisions, the community is hopeful for constructive changes and solutions to the challenges they face. As council members work to address the parking issues and other concerns, residents are keenly watching the developments, eager for resolutions that balance the needs of pickleball enthusiasts and the local neighborhood.

Pickleball Parking Issues

News In Brief: Pickleball Parking Issues

READING, Pa. – At Monday night’s City Council meeting, residents of Old Wyomissing Road expressed frustration over parking changes related to the popular pickleball courts. Complaints included traffic disruptions, trash, noise, and illegal parking. City officials pledged to address these concerns.

In other news, the Reading Redevelopment Authority reported significant 2023 achievements, including raising $126,000 for properties and requesting $1.5 million for future projects.

The council approved several contracts, including $38,664.75 for Public Works flooring and $672,686 for HVAC improvements at the Firefighters Museum. Eight new probationary patrol officers were hired, and a criminal investigator was promoted to sergeant.

Additionally, amendments to the personnel code and ordinances were passed, including salary increases and a new procedure for removing Youth Commission members. An allocation of $657,500 from the American Rescue Plan Act funds will support small businesses. Finally, Cathedral Street was renamed ‘R-Phils Drive’ to honor the community’s heritage.

Also read: Twitter Storm Erupts Over Allegations in Pickleball Community

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