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Frequently Asked Questions


ON-STREET PARKING FAQS

Q: Where are on-street meters?

On-street meters are located throughout the Central Business District. Meters are also located near the two city hospital systems: Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health facilities on Duke, James, and Frederick Sts., and UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster hospital on College Ave.

Q: Are there surface lots?

Yes, there are two surface lots that serve the community. The Mifflin St. lot is a public lot operated by the LPA located behind the East King Street Garage. It is also on the map on our website under parking lots and garages. The N. Cherry St. and S. Cherry St. lots are available for monthly lease only.

Q: When are on-street meters enforced?

Enforcement times are Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Central Business District, and Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. in other areas, as per city ordinance. This information is also posted on the kiosks and meters.

Q: How do the Parking Enforcement Officers know I paid?

Parking enforcement officers use a handheld device to look up the license plate of a vehicle and confirm payment. Single space meters with coin payments will show how much time is paid on the meter head which is then referenced by the enforcement officers. If you use the Park Lancaster app, powered by Parkmobile, or Pay by Phone at single-space meters, it will not show as paid on the meter, but parking enforcement officers can use a handheld device to look up the license plate number of the vehicle to confirm payment.

ON-STREET PARKING PAYMENT

Q: What are the rates for meter parking?

The meters require $.25 cents for 10 minutes. Meters have a two-hour time limit.
If you plan on parking over two hours, you should park in an LPA garage. Garage locations can be found on the LPA website.

LPA On-Street Parking Rates

Q. How can I pay for on-street parking?

For kiosks:
• The easiest way to pay is to the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app; please note there is a transaction fee of $0.35. Download the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on the App Store or Google Play. You do not need to have cash on you to pay for your parking when you pay this way.

• Pay by Phone allows you to use a credit card registered through the Parkmobile app by calling 1-877-727-5281.

• You can use credit/debit cards (all but American Express); please note there is a two-hour, $3 minimum charge because of associated processing fees.

• You can use coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters) or bills ($1, $5, $10).

For single-space meters:
• The easiest way to pay is to the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app; please note there is a transaction fee of $0.35. Download the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on the App Store or Google Play. You do not need to have cash on you to pay for your parking when you pay this way.

• Pay by Phone allows you to use a credit card (all but American Express) through the Parkmobile app by calling 1-877-727-5281.

• You can use coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters).

For BOTH kiosks and single-space meters:
• The easiest way to pay is to the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app; please note there is a transaction fee of $0.35. Download the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on the App Store or Google Play. You do not need to have cash on you to pay for your parking when you pay this way.

• Pay by Phone allows you to use a credit card (all but American Express) through the app by calling 1-877-727-5281.

• You can use credit/debit cards (all but American Express); please note there is a two-hour, $3 minimum charge because of associated processing fees.

• You can use coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters) or, at the kiosks, bills, ($1, $5, $10).

Q: Why am I being charged for the full two hours when I used my credit card at a kiosk?

There is a two (2)-hour minimum when paying with a credit card (you can use all but American Express) because of the associated processing fees. That notice is posted on the kiosk. If you do not want to pay for a full two (2) hours, you can use coins, bills, or Pay by Phone (which allows you to use a credit card through the Parkmobile app) by calling 1-877-727-5281.

Q: Can I pay for on-street parking and then move to another space within the paid time?

Yes, if you pay at a kiosk or by using the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app. However, the goal is for rapid turnover of on-street parking spaces to benefit the local business community. If you expect to be longer than two hours, please park in a garage.

Q: Can I use a parking app to pay for parking?

The Park Lancaster app or Parkmobile app, can be used to pay for parking at both on-street meters and kiosks. Download the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on the App Store or Google Play. The Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app allows you to pay on your phone, receive updates when your parking is about to expire, and add time to your parking meter. Here’s how you use it. You cannot add additional time if you’ve reached the limit of two hours (as per city ordinance).

Q: Can I use pay by mobile phone if I don’t have an iPhone?

Yes, you can use the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on Android, Windows and Blackberry mobile devices. Download the Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app on the App Store or Google Play. Park Lancaster or Parkmobile app users must enter the zone number in the app to pay for parking in Lancaster City.

Q: If the license plate number is entered incorrectly, can it be corrected?

Before your transaction is complete you can either use the backspace key to make corrections or cancel the entire transaction by pressing the red “x” button and starting over.

Q: What should I do if I entered my plate number incorrectly and received a ticket?

Contact the LPA office at 717-299-0907. Please leave a message if no one answers. Calls are monitored 24/7.

GARAGE PARKING FAQS

Q. Where are parking garages and when are they open?

LPA owns or manages seven garages to offer convenient parking options for the community. You can find the map with the parking garages on the website. All are open 24/7, except for Central Garage (S-Th, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., F,Sat., 6 a.m.-12 a.m.) You can find the locations on our website.

PARKING PAYMENT IN GARAGES

Q: What are the rates for garage parking?

If you plan on parking over two hours or if you’re not sure how long you need parking, you should park in an LPA garage. Garage locations can be found on the LPA website.

Garage rates are:
• First two hours — $2 per hour
• Hours three-12 — $1 per hour
• Daily rate (over 12 hours — $15)

LPA Garage Parking Rates

Q. How can I pay for garage parking?

In some parking garages (E. King, Central, N. Queen), you can use bills or a credit/debit card (all but American Express), to pay at payment machines in the lobby or pay cash or by credit/debit to an attendant at the exit booths (Prince St., Penn Square, Duke St.).

In other parking garages (Prince St., Penn Square, Duke St.), you can use a credit/debit card (all but American Express) to a machine in a garage exit lane (Prince St., Penn Square, Duke St.) or pay cash or by credit/debit (all but American Express) to an attendant at the exit booths (Prince St., Penn Square, Duke St.).

Q. Is there a special garage parking rate on weekends?

We offer “$5 After 5 p.m.” — you pay just a $5 flat rate parking in LPA garages after 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

PARKING ENFORCEMENT

Q: What are the fines for on-street ticketing?

Fines range from $20 to $200, depending on the violation. Fines are set by a City of Lancaster ordinance and can be viewed here.

Q: It seems like a parking enforcement officer is always nearby waiting for time to expire to write a ticket.

Parking enforcement officers (PEOs) follow set routes and typically pass through a Central Business District route a few times during each shift. The time that the PEO patrols a specific route may change each day. PEOs use a handheld device that tells them if the vehicle has paid time or not. The PEO does not know how long it has been since the time expired on the space – it could be one minute or longer.

Q: How do I dispute a parking ticket?

Tickets may be disputed with the Lancaster Parking Authority for the following reasons:
• An error in the license plate number entered at the payment kiosk, in the Pay-by-Phone app or on the ticket,
• A valid Residential Parking Permit for the area has been purchased for the vehicle, or
• A malfunctioning parking meter or kiosk.

To file a dispute for one of the above reasons, contact the Lancaster Parking Authority:
• In person at the office at 30 W. Orange St.
• By telephone at 717-299-0907 or
• By email to office@lancasterparkingauthority.com.

Disputes for reasons other than those above will be adjudicated at a formal hearing at a Magisterial District Justice (MDJ) office. Paid tickets will not be sent to the MDJ system. If you want to dispute a ticket for any reason other than those above, do not pay the ticket! No action is required until you receive a notification from the MDJ office regarding the citation, typically 30 – 45 days after the issue date of the ticket. Once you receive the citation, follow the instructions to plead “not guilty” to the ticket and request a hearing. If you are found guilty at the citation hearing, you will be required to pay Magistrate fees in addition to the ticket amount.

Q: What is the time period between booting and towing a vehicle?

Lancaster City Police can use boots and tow vehicles parked on streets. The LPA can use boots and tow vehicles parked inside LPA owned and operated garages. See the City of Lancaster boot ordinance and tow ordinance.

The boot shall remain in place for 48 hours unless the owner pays the associated fines, fees, and court costs, as per the Vehicle and Traffic Ordinance. If such compliance has not occurred in 48 hours, the vehicle shall be towed or impounded.

RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PARKING

Q: Is Residential Permit Parking (RPP) enforced every day?

There are two kinds of RPP parking: daytime and nighttime hours. Both are explained in signs posted on RPP streets. Expect enforcement during all the RPP hours. There are more than 125 residential permit parking blocks throughout the city, stretching from Southwest to Northeast. It is unrealistic to expect residential permit parking enforcement to occur every day on every block, but enforcement will occur on a consistent basis, as per the city ordinance.

Q. How is the two-hour grace period for parking without a permit enforced?

Parking enforcement officers (PEOs) use a handheld device to keep track of time for vehicles. The device does not allow them to write tickets until the time has expired.

STREET CLEANING

Q. What is street cleaning and why do I have to move my vehicle?

The City’s street cleaning program removes dirt and debris from City streets to provide a healthy, safe, and attractive environment for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection permit and some federal requirements for operating a combined sewer system mandate street sweeping to protect water quality. Regular removal of leaves and debris by City street sweepers is necessary to prevent storm drains from clogging, which can result in localized street flooding. Street cleaning protects water quality by removing approximately 1.2 million pounds of trash and litter annually that would otherwise end up in local streams and add more burden on the sewer system. The street cleaning program sweeps over 240 lane miles of streets within the City of Lancaster.

Street cleaning is done every two weeks on residential city streets and weekly on some major corridors.
To find your street cleaning schedule check here, or look for nearby street signs that list the time of street cleaning (two hours on the designated day). You must move your vehicle during that time. LPA parking enforcement officers follow the street sweeper and ticket any vehicles in the way of the street sweeper.

PARKING QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS

Q: Is the LPA available 24/7 for parking issues?

Yes, you can call our office at (717) 299-0907 and please leave a message. This number is monitored around the clock — if you have an issue, please reach out.

Q: What ordinances govern parking and parking enforcement?

You can find more information about the City of Lancaster’s parking and enforcement ordinances here, or by searching online for Chapter 285 Vehicles and Traffic in the City of Lancaster Code.