If one issue which plagues the entire city exists, it’s parking. Due to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, recent enforcement of Pennsylvania State Law prohibiting parking on sidewalks, fury in South Philadelphia is rising as scooter and motorcycle owners face parking tickets while struggling to find safe places to store vehicles.
“As more and more residents began using scooters, the number of complaints increased as did confusion over the PPA’s limited enforcement of the state prohibition,” said Martin O’Rourke, a spokesperson for the PPA.
As a result, last month the PPA began enforcing the existing state prohibition against parking any motorized vehicle on a sidewalk.
In January, new regulations will go into effect allowing for parking permits so that people can park their two-wheeled vehicles in front of residential homes. Also, there will be designated scooter/motorcycle parking corrals around the city and there will be day and quarterly parking passes for select municipal parking lots.
“If we [motorists] are using the parking kiosks, where are we supposed to put the tickets?” Joseph said. “That’s impractical. It’s impossible to carry tape around with us all the time.”
Despite getting ticketed with $76 violations, avoiding damage or theft seems to be the primary concern for many of the cyclists who prefer to park on sidewalks.
“We have this mayor who wants this to be the largest urban green environment in the country,” Joseph said. “But it makes sense to make it difficult for those using less energy on scooters to park around here?”
Joseph was alerted of the enforcement taking effect last month when two PPA officials were pulling the cover off his scooter parked in front of his home, which he claims they ripped in the process. Joseph is currently organizing a petition to reverse the prohibition enforcement.
“You can park your car in the middle of Broad Street or halfway on the sidewalk, but not a scooter in front of your house,” a South Philadelphia resident posted to the neighborhood Facebook group. “Stupid. I’d sign [a petition].”
“My scooter doesn’t come out wider than my steps but my rosebush does,” Joseph said. “And the scooter is the issue? That really irks me. If someone slips 30 inches from my house, I’m responsible for their injuries. But I can’t park my scooter there?”
O’Rourke said the PPA is welcome to suggestions from the public on installing safety features for motorists to lock up scooters, which can be emailed to Sue Cornell at email@example.com.