In 2018, the PPA ticketed a van that had caught on fire and been apparently abandoned Credit: Twitter / @putthistoanend

Is there any case when the PPA wouldn’t issue a ticket? Like maybe if there isn’t even a windshield on which to slap the blue-and-white envelope?

The parking authority took ticketing to a whole new level this week, dropping a violation notice on a van that looks nearly impossible for any driver to move. You can’t very well search for another parking spot if your vehicle has been literally torched from the inside out, which is what appears to be the case with a white Ford sitting near an intersection in Mantua.

For the record, the violation itself was totally warranted. According to police records, the van had been parked in a no-stopping zone almost two weeks. But in this case, it doesn’t look like the ticket — neatly tucked behind the engine block — is gonna get the job done.

It doesn’t look like the owner is coming back for the vehicle at all.

A van parked on 33rd Street, totally torched Credit: Michaela Winberg / Billy Penn

Here’s the backstory: The Fire Department responded to a blaze on 33rd Street near Spring Garden on the evening of Sept. 6. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the van in flames and put out the fire.

After that, it seems, everyone departed, leaving the burned out vehicle parked in a no stopping zone. As of Thursday afternoon, no one had moved the vehicle, and it doesn’t appear that any city department has taken on the responsibility of towing it. Instead, it was given a ticket.

“You can’t just leave an abandoned car,” said PPA spokesperson Marty O’Rourke. “It doesn’t matter if it’s torched.”

At Billy Penn‘s request, Philly police ran the vehicle’s license plate number. It hasn’t yet been reported stolen. If it was reported stolen, O’Rourke said, the parking authority would rescind the tickets and give the owner time to move the car on their own.

The van, parked in a no stopping zone on 33rd Street Credit: Michaela Winberg / Billy Penn

Billy Penn visited the scorched van on Thursday afternoon, and noticed something of note: the violation notice, spotted by a Philly resident on Tuesday, was no longer there. Perhaps it just blew away in the wind — it’s not like there were windshield wipers to secure it.

Or perhaps the elusive owner of the van did come back for it. Maybe they’re on their way to pay the violation as we speak. Maybe.

Michaela Winberg is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She covers LGBTQ people and culture, public spaces, and transportation and mobility. She also sometimes produces radio and web features...