Tickets issued at Graham Park
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Eagle Staff Writer
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Published:
June 10, 2017
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A sign warns drivers not to park along the street in Graham Park in Cranberry Township. There also are no parking signs dotted throughout the park. Several people who attended the Seneca Valley Soccer Association’s Soccerfest on June 3 received parking tickets for parking along the road near the soccer fields.

CRANBERRY TWP — Although parking in Graham Park can be tight during sporting events, township officials are urging coaches, parents and others to stay off the grass.

“There’s enough parking,” said Pete Geis, township parks and recreation director. “You may have to walk a little bit, but there’s enough parking.”

Parking spots are few and far between in the areas where athletic fields are being used, but usually there is parking available just a short walk away within the park, Geis said.

The parking issue came up during Seneca Valley Soccer Association’s Soccerfest on June 3. One grandparent said several people received parking tickets during the event for parking along the road near the soccer fields.

Pennie Postler of Cranberry Township said there were no parking spots available around the soccer fields so she and others parked along the entrance to the Field D parking lot. She did not see any signs prohibiting parking, she said. Postler received a ticket for $25, something that will be a challenge for her to pay as she is on a fixed income.

“It’s a thing I just love,” Postler said of watching her grandchildren play. “I was really disappointed to see how many people got a ticket.”

Geis said he was in the park last weekend and saw open parking spots in lots a short walk from the soccer fields.

“No doubt about it, there was parking available on both ends of the soccer complex within a couple hundred yards of the soccer complex,” Geis said.

Geis said he works closely with all of the athletic associations, and they try their best to get the word out to people about the parking situation during events.

On-street parking is not allowed anywhere in Cranberry, said township Police Chief Kevin Meyer. A sign indicates that at the entrance to the park, he said.

A drive through the park shows No Parking signs sprinkled throughout, although there are none near the Field D parking lot Postler was at.

Meyer said the police get notifications of events going on at the parks, but his officers are in and out of the parks throughout the day on routine patrols. When they see issues, they address them, he said.

“Our parks and recreation folks and our public works folks put a lot of time and effort into keeping that grass well-maintained and in great condition,” Meyer said. “To have vehicles driving and parking on it even in the course of a weekend, it does a lot of damage … So we do what we can do to enforce the no on-street parking.”

Meyer said he does not pull parking tickets, and there is no way to appeal one through the township once it is given. A person has 10 days to pay the ticket. If they do not pay, they will get a state citation in the mail, which usually incurs higher fines.

Then the person can plead guilty and pay the fine or plead not guilty and have their case heard before the district judge, who could dismiss it.

Geis said anyone heading to a game at Graham Park who is worried about where to park can call the township’s parks and recreation department for information about different events going on and where parking might be available.

“We love helping them out and telling them where there’s potential parking,” Geis said. “We never like to hear about anybody getting a ticket, but it was avoidable.”