Mitchell S. Gilbert: Won’t be back to Northampton

Published: 4/20/2021 1:55:34 PM

An open letter to downtown businesses and the Northampton Chamber of Commerce. On a recent visit to do some shopping and have dinner with a friend, I was ticketed for illegal parking even though I made sure to use the parking app on my phone that I’ve used in other Massachusetts municipalities.

I forwarded a receipt of the payment I made on the Passport Parking App, which had correctly recognized what block in what town my car was parked. In so many words the response from your parking office was (my choice of words), “GOTCHA! We don’t use that app, now pay the fine or else.”

Apparently, downtown parking regulations in Northhampton aren’t about encouraging law-abiding citizen-consumers from not taking advantage of limited parking spaces but generating revenue for the city. Fine, your parking officials got me this time. But I won’t be back in downtown Northhampton anytime soon.

I’ll miss your quaint stores and lovely restaurants. But I like to patronize businesses and communities that see me as a law-abiding patron, not a wallet-carry person with a target on my back.

Mitchell S. Gilbert


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