This driver either missed the no parking signs or just didn't care.

This driver either missed the no parking signs or just didn't care.

Zari Tarazona

The Week in Parking

Don’t park on this Philly block if you want to avoid the PPA

Here’s some alternative spots to try, plus proof that sometimes a handwritten note works wonders.

This driver either missed the no parking signs or just didn't care.

This driver either missed the no parking signs or just didn't care.

Zari Tarazona
screen_shot_2017-07-08_at_2.45.41_pm

Correction appended

Finding a parking spot in the the urban street grid isn’t easy, especially in Center City. But, forewarning: Even if you get really lazy or desperate don’t leave your car on the 500 block of South Second Street.

Per Philly Mag, the Philadelphia Parking Authority gave out almost 25,000 tickets on that block between January 2012 and June 2015. That’s about 25 tickets per day — a nice daily intake for the PPA coffers.

The landscape has changed a bit over the past two years, but the city’s latest data is more difficult to sort. Billy Penn reached out to PPA spokesperson Marty O’Rourke to ask for data on the current most-ticketed block, but he did not respond.

So we’ll go with the 2015 info, which lists the five most ticketed blocks in Philly as:

  1. 500 block of South Second Street
  2. 100 block of Chestnut Street
  3. 500 block of South Street
  4. 300 block of South Street
  5. 1600 block of Walnut Street

Look closely and you’ll notice that, No. 1 notwithstanding, the real problem area is South Street. Three out of five of of those highest-ticketed zones are on or adjacent to the touristy part of the strip.

What to do? One idea is to try parking at the Lombard Circle Lot, which is on Columbus Boulevard. It’s right by the South Street Pedestrian Bridge over I-95, so just a short walk away, and has a whopping 325 spots available. There’s also the parking lot just above the intersection of Front and South, right where the bridge empties onto the street. It’s often very busy already, but does hold 400 spots.

Second idea: If you’re coming from outside the city, Temple University — currently a ghost town because summer — has many parking spots available. You’ll probably be able to just pull into a spot without worrying about other cars. Sure, you’ll have to take SEPTA or hop in an Uber to make it the last mile to your destination, but versus a $51 (or higher!) ticket, it’s a worthy alternative.

 

Just think what a relief it will be to not find a blue-and-white envelope stuffed under your windshield wipers when you return.

The PPA becomes an unlikely hero

Earlier this week, we reported how Josh Cornfield, a New Jersey news editor for the Associated Press, pulled off the ultimate miracle by avoiding a parking ticket in Northern Liberties. He wrote down a quick mercy plea to the PPA before going to babysit his niece — his sister had recently delivered twins, the note explained, and he had to take care of her other daughter. The PPA officer replied back by congratulating Cornfield’s sister and quipping that he should also get his car inspected. A true miracle.

Don’t expect to park on the beach in Wildwood just yet

Mother nature is to blame for this one. Per Newsworks, the proposal to turn part of the huge sandy stretch that separates the town from the ocean into an overflow lot has been delayed because officials first intended to tunnel a bit deeper beneath the boardwalk — that’s how cars will get to the beach. But the recent weather has made it impossible to do. Wildwood New Jersey Commissioner Pete Byron said beach parking should start within the next two weeks, and it’ll cost $10 a day.

Trouble deciphering a parking sign? Just ask us

Reader: This sign is on the north side of Cherry Street between 18th and 19th. Does it mean that it’s ok for me to park my car there after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday?
Our answer: You are correct. According to that sign, you should be able to park your car there after 6 p.m. on weeknights and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Those parking signs can be tricky.

Those parking signs can be tricky.

Reader submission

When you’re a true master parker

Verus when you’re really not

Tough luck

Sorry girl, maybe you should have written them a note.

Real nice parking, PPA

So did they get a ticket?

The irony.

The irony.

South Silly Facebook group

It’s always polite to ask

PPA told him he could park there for free until the time limit. The miracles continue.