Parking smart-phone app, ParkMe, claims parking in the Graduate Hospital area of Philadelphia is one of the toughest places to find street parking in the entire city. Many people seem to agree.
“I hate parking here… specifically here,” said frequent Greg Rios, “It’s especially a nightmare after the business people get home from work around five or six o’clock.”
Although Forbes calls the typical nine to five workday a dying breed as the Millennials leave the nest, most Americans are still out of the house during that time frame. Stay-at-home parents are taking their children to the park and running errands.
“Being a mom of three and having to do the shopping for the entire household, I find myself needing my car around the city because, for starters, there is no grocery store nearby,” said resident Annabelle Richardson, “My partner and I both have our own cars because we really do need them.”
Almost 2 million cars are registered in Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia is its largest city. As of 2012, Philadelphia’s population reached 1,547,607, gaining almost 10 thousand more residents than it had two years prior. It’s safe to say that the city is expecting more to come.
The PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) estimates Philadelphia residents have one car per household. Point2 Homes claims the average amount of people per household South of South Street within the city’s boundaries is 2.30. If this is really true, then about half of the people living in the area are zipping around in an automobile.
“I have the only car in my house, and I have two other roommates,” said resident Lee Pinasco. “I don’t know what I’d do without it but they talk about how they’re in bliss without one… more headache than convenience I guess.”
Pinasco seems to have a point – Is this why there are more and more bikers these days? Some say yes and some say no.
“I think the recent wave of the green lifestyle trend most definitely adds to the reason why people are boycotting their vehicles and getting bikes,” said Philadelphia biker Pete Simmons. He has been biking everywhere for the past five years and saves a ton of money.
Ten bikers were spotted peddling around the Graduate Hospital area within a half-hour time period on a Monday afternoon.
“Yeah there are lots of bikers…but there are a lot more drivers too. There are more of everything with all these people moving here,” said frequent Dan McQuay. He spends most of his days here hanging out with his girlfriend and struggling to find a legal parking spot that allows more than two hours.
About 50 percent of the streets in the Graduate Hospital area are labeled as two hour parking, typically from Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sections of the streets are deemed illegal to park along due to garages and bus stops.
“The garages are a problem. South Philly wasn’t really built for all these cars… and it seems like the people who have the money get the parking privilege,” said resident Saleem Abdul.
But do they really get the parking privilege? A resident named Joe, who would not disclose his last name, said newer garages are a huge scam.
“I heard that most new garages are built for selling reasons, including mine,” said Joe. “I can’t fit my car in there when there are people parked along the other side of the street.”
A recent report by the Door & Hardware Federation claims that 75 percent of newly built garages within city limits are too small to fit cars in.
If the report and Joe are right, it looks like some garage owners too are left to hunt and fight for street parking.
Street parking permits in Philadelphia are $35 per vehicle for the first year within the specific area and $20 to renew each year prior. People can apply for one or more Residential Parking Permits as long as they have a valid license and a lease or a utility bill in their name. Keep in mind that a single permit is for a specific block only, which allows the vehicle owners to ignore the time-limiting parking sign.
If a vehicle is parked in a time-limited parking zone, a parking violation ticket with a fee of somewhere around $39 will most likely be placed underneath one of the windshield wipers. If a vehicle is parked blocking a bus stop, a ticket of around $51 will probably be issued. And that’s just the beginning of it.
If a person has multiple outstanding tickets, their car has a high chance of getting booted, towed or even impounded.
If by the 15th day after being issued the ticket has not been paid or contested, an additional fee of $25 will be added. If it has been about a month, a second fee of $30 will be added. The PPA says tickets should be paid within 10 calendar days of being issued to avoid any additional amounts.
When asked specifically about issues they’ve noticed within the Graduate Hospital area, PPA officers refused to comment.
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