Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You a Fee-Free Rose Garden

Allentown officials are proposing a permit fee for bridal parties who use the public Rose Garden for ceremonies and/ or photos. Reservations are required.

For many years there has been a good system of congeniality and cooperative sharing of this space, especially on weekends when the weather is nice. If it gets crowded, bridal parties have used a rotating system to share the space.

Well, apparently, according to the Morning Call's article,0,6677686.story
brides have repeatedly been complaining about having to wait in line on their busy day, and Allentown officials are acting. They want to create peace of mind for the bride, and at the same time, generate income for the city. They say the money will go right back into the Rose Garden. They will need to buy chairs and tents people can rent, make brochures and signs. They will also need to hire a law enforcement official to monitor this system, kinda like a park ranger. Bethlehem has a Rose Garden. They take reservations, but they do not charge a fee.

I guess they will have to work out all the details of this program, and maybe it will be positive, but I still think public parks should be free. Allentown has so many beautiful parks, and since I do not have a back yard I am grateful for our parks. Will people still be able to walk through the public Rose Garden if a paying party is using it? The article says it "would be open for anyone to use for free if the venue is clear." This could be confusing.