The Philadelphia Parking Authority announced today it is phasing out Smart Cards by the end of 2014. It will stop selling them May 30th, and meters will no longer accept them starting January 1, 2015.
Bucks County’s Judi Space had to come to Center City last week to meet with her estate attorney, since her husband passed away suddenly in December.
She decided to make a day of it.
Space met her cousin for lunch near Washington Square. She visited with her daughter. And when she returned to her car, parked perfectly legally at 21st Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Space was shocked to find that it had been booted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Read more »
If you’re a driver who frequently parks in bike lanes (tsk tsk), take note: The Philadelphia Parking Authority has taken to Twitter to stop bike-lane-blocking drivers everywhere. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in an effort to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, the PPA is now monitoring the Twitter hashtag #unblockbikelanes to find and ticket offenders.
Here’s how it works: If you see a car parked in a bike lane, just tweet the location of the car to @PhilaParking along with #unblockbikelanes. If a PPA officer happens to be in the area, they’ll teach that driver a lesson by slapping a ticket on their windshield. As the PPA stated on their blog, “While we can’t promise that enforcement can be dispatched to every single tweet we receive…we are committed to working closely with the cycling community on this issue.”
First, he went after the vampire squirrels in LOVE Park. Then, it was the fist-pumping bros of Drexel. Now, Phillly street artist Kid Hazo has set his satirical sites squarely on the PPA with the largest parking ticket ever:
Starting out Sunday morning, when most hip city dwellers were still staking out tables at cafes, Hazo parked his car (legally), disguised himself in sunglasses and a cap, and walked quickly toward South Street, carrying a big, black plastic garbage bag.
Inside was an enormous mock parking ticket with an exact replica of the dreaded “VIOLATION” along one end. The upper right corner read, “Place Giant Stamp Here Absurdly Large Postage Required Post Office will most likely not deliver this.” The address: KID HAZO Street Art Division PO BOX 092013.
His mission? Slip it under the wipers of a parking authority traffic enforcement car.
Slip it he did, right onto the windshield of PPA officer T. Free’s patrol car at Sixth and South. Then, of course, Kid Hazo ran like hell. The guy, after all, is in his 30s with a full-time job—not exactly your average graffiti artist.
But, then, the PPA isn’t your average scoundrel. Hopefully, the message was big enough this time. [Philly.com]
We’ve all seen it: PPA sedans making their own parking spots, vans stationed in front of fire hydrants, handicapped spots occupied by regrettably un-handicapped PPA officials—the list goes on. One twitter user, though, is doing something about it and suffering the consequences.
— PPAwatch (@PPAwatch) September 9, 2013
For those of you who don’t know, @PPAwatch posts driver-submitted photos of PPA vehicles breaking their own strictly enforced rules, serving as the ultimate example of the organization’s “do as I say, not as I do” attitude. Naturally, the account’s founder, who remains anonymous, got the PPA’s attention.
Which is why over the weekend the increasingly popular @PPAwatch account was suspended—ostensibly for using the PPA’s new trademarked logo, causing confusing for people wanting to contact the real outfit. Riiiiiiiight.
Yesterday, though, @PPAwatch removed the official PPA logo and had their account restored. Today, they’re up to almost 900 followers and counting, dishing out PPA-themed justice to wrongdoers on the organization’s inside.
So remember the next time you’re out: if you see something, tweet something. The PPA can’t get away with it forever. [NBC]
If you ponied up for street parking over the weekend, you may have noticed something besides the usual hatred every good Philadelphian feels when dealing with anything related to our city’s parking enforcement: a new logo for the Philadelphia Parking Authority. The first image update for the agency in decades, the PPA’s new look is a sleek update on the chunky ’80s logo, and it only ran the parking cops a cool $5,000 and nine months of lead-time thanks to JLT Design’s Jenna Teodoro. Some 18 designs later, we have the current logo: lowercase red and blue letters atop of a stylized skyline shot.
Expect to see the new logo somewhere in Philly over the next few months as the PPA ramps up its implementation. As for when to expect the promised change in the “customer service approach” the PPA has promised? Don’t hold your breath. [NBC]
Sidecar, the “car-sharing” service that paired taxi-hating customers with rando drivers, has ceased to operate in Philadelphia. Since February, when the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) shut it down after an actual sting operation, it’s been locked in a battle with the city, which claims SideCar vehicles are essentially an illegal, unregulated, uninspected taxi service. After a few months of wrangling, SideCar has now pulled out of its first-ever East Coast location.
So, what’s the narrative here? Rogue start-up trying to cut costs, blow through red tape, and flout the law? Or innovation-stifling bureaucrats loathe to upset the established order? Either way, the “sharing economy” that has given us Airbnb and Zipcar isn’t quite ready to revolutionize Philly. [Newsworks]