City on Broad Street Parking: Cops Have More Important Things to Do

The Law Department is looking to dismiss the lawsuit filed by urbanist advocacy group 5th Square.

broad street median parking, broad street parking

Photo by Claudia Gavin

The Broad Street median parking war continues.

The city is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed last month in Common Pleas Court by an urbanist political action committee that wants to stop cars from parking illegally on the Broad Street median. 

In case you’re not aware of what might be the city’s most contentious point of argument, parking on the Broad Street median in South Philly has drawn both loyal defenders (who cite the neighborhood’s parking shortage) and rigid opponents (who maintain that the habit is both illegal and dangerous). The Philly tradition dates back at least a hundred years – last year, reporter Dan McQuade found testimony describing the practice in a 1916 Pa. Superior Court case.

In July, 5th Square co-founder Jake Liefer, who opposes the practice, sued the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the Philadelphia Police Department to get officials to enforce ticketing on the median. But, as PlanPhilly first reported, the city claims it has more important things to do.

In its effort to dismiss the lawsuit before it goes to trial, the Law Department argues that “the decision to direct resource towards ticketing every single car on the Broad Street median … would divert PPD and PPA officers and resources from other duties that, in their professional determination and discretion, are more pressing.”

In addition, the department claims 5th Square hasn’t shown harm resulting from the practice.

The PAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday morning. If a judge agrees to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, as the Law Department requested, 5th Square would not be able to sue the city over the issue again.

Liefer told PlanPhilly that “we look forward to prevailing past these preliminary objections,” which he said include “boilerplate language that any defendant would use to try to throw out a lawsuit rather than review the merit of the case.”

For more information, visit PlanPhilly.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.