The Pope in Philly

Did you get Pope-towed by the PPA? Here’s what to do now


Pope parking nightmares have officially commenced. Confusion started yesterday when the PPA posted signs in Old City showing that towing would begin a day earlier than originally planned, but the parking authority told Billy Penn it was correcting the issue. Here’s the full schedule, as released last week by the city:

Towing schedule

Towing schedule

City of Philadelphia

And if you pre-purchased a placard for your car, you allegedly have until Thursday evening to remove your car from its designated location. So what happens if you get towed? Just follow these steps (not unlike the five stages of grief):


Call the PPA at 1-888-591-3636 to make sure that, yes, your beloved car was in fact towed away by them, and is either being dragged down the street or sitting sadly in a lot surrounded by other reject cars. They’ll also give you directions about which impoundment lot your car was taken to.


More likely than not, your car will be impounded at the large lot at 2501 Weccacoe Ave. in South Philadelphia near Columbus Boulevard and Oregon Avenue. Get an Uber, a cab or an annoyed friend (who really doesn’t want to help you, tbh) and make your way down to the impoundment lot.

This is key! Make sure you have your license and proof of registration and insurance with you.  If you’re like a normal person and you keep the only copies of your proof of registration and insurance in your glove box, a PPA official will walk you to your car to retrieve the documents once you’re there, and then you get to go back to the window and wait in line again.


There is a way that you can appeal all this, but it ain’t easy. If your car is booted or towed, you’re able to appeal it before picking up your car by demanding an expedited hearing before a Parking Hearing Examiner. That demand can be made in writing via a form supplied by the city, and you have the right to leave your vehicle in the impound lot until the hearing has reached a conclusion.

According to city code, if the Parking Hearing Examiner determines that the vehicle was impounded without reasonable cause you’re entitled to “immediate release and return of the vehicle without the payment of any booting or towing fee or storage charges.” If the examiner determines there was cause, you can continue to appeal and post the equivalent of a bond for the vehicle which will be reimbursed if you win your case down the line. You can read more about the appeals process here.


Time to pay up. The PPA says to bring along with you the $251 you’ll need to get your ride back ($76 is the actual fine; the rest are towing and storage fees). Beware: They don’t accept personal checks. Be sure to bring cash, a money order, a debit card, MasterCard, Visa or American Express.


Once you turn over like a quarter of your paycheck to the man, you can drive away happily.

driving away

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