AP NEWS

Get Value For Parking At Nay Aug

April 9, 2019

Progress at Scranton’s invaluable Nay Aug Park always has come in fits and starts because of the city government’s persistent financial problems and different priorities placed upon it by different administrations. Recent developments, thankfully, demonstrate that the park is in an upswing. The Municipal Recreation Authority voted recently to accept Geisinger Community Medical Center’s offer to install a $330,000 LED lighting system in the southern end of the park, across Arthur Avenue from the hospital. Some park neighbors objected to the lighting, which they characterized as unnecessary because the park closes at dusk. But if done properly the lighting can be an asset for security and aesthetics. Negotiations also are under way between the authority and Geisinger regarding the hospital’s use of 280 parking spaces in the park. Hospital access to the parking spots benefits the hospital and its employees, and the neighborhood, by diminishing congestion in a tight footprint and reducing competition for street parking. The authority should seek a return on the parking deal that also benefits the park by ensuring a long-term flow of revenue or reciprocal services, or both. Meanwhile repairs to the park treehouse, which offers panoramic views, including for disabled visitors, are nearly complete. And the authority has authorized other upgrades to improve the park experience, including limiting the main ring road to one-way traffic, setting aside disabled parking near the treehouse, establishing free swimming on Mondays and offering 24 family swimming passes through city elementary schools. The board also moved to convert an old pool into a splash pad, which will save money on water and repairs, and better stretch the lifeguard force to cover other pools. In all, the decisions put the park on a stronger physical and financial footing and honor the visionaries who first set aside land for a fine urban park.