Hey, Mayor, How ’Bout Making That Broad Street Parking Ban Permanent?

South Philly residents note that the world didn't end when the cars were cleared from the South Broad Street median. A local political action committee has heard their voices and is calling for more support.

Photo: Holly Otterbein

Photo: Holly Otterbein

The South Philly parking catastrophe that some feared after the city’s decision to enforce the ban on parking in the median of South Broad Street during the Democratic National Convention has failed to materialize. And that in turn has led to a call for Mayor Jim Kenney to make enforcement of the ban permanent.

“I’m a South Philly resident myself. I live two blocks off of Broad Street,” said Jake Liefer, co-founder and treasurer of the 5th Square, a political action committee that seeks to advance an urbanist agenda for City Hall. The group launched a petition drive on July 26th to persuade the mayor to continue the ban after the convention. “Over the past three days, I’ve been able to park my car on my block easily — and even park right in front of my house.”

Of the more than 700 signatures the PAC has received since launch, Liefer said, the “vast majority” live in South Philadelphia — “mainly just right around Broad. The DNC has demonstrated this could be done with no hazard to the safety of the neighborhood and no loss with regard to parking. The interest among the residents is to move this forward and clear the median.”

Given the apparent success of this “demonstration project,” Liefer hopes Mayor Kenney will respond to this petition the same way he has responded to other proof-of-concept trials of urbanist solutions that have proved successful.

“Be it Open Streets or other ideas, I think we’ve seen that when they’re demonstated, you get insight into how well they can work,” he said. “The best way forward is for the mayor to say, ‘It’s worked so far this week, we should just continue it.’”

In the meantime, the 5th Square continues to collect signatures on its petition.