We've all gotten one.
Walking from a distance towards your car, you squint to see a little blue envelope under your windshield whipper.
Most likely, you think, whisper, or shout a profanity, grab the ticket and see what your harsh debt to society is for your heinous crime and try to carry on with your day after this mentally and financially draining set back.
Eventually, you return to your home and park, safe in Roxborough or Manayunk, away from the craziness of city life that includes "parking wars."
In our neighborhood, we pride ourselves on being friendly, owning small businesses, being close to nature and living a more carefree life than our fellow citizens 4 miles down Kelly Drive. While to some, bringing the PPA into our neighborhood would symbolize progress, this change would not fit into our standard of living.
1. A PPA officer would be walking around your street all the time
A main staple of Center City living is seeing a PPA officer walking around . . . pretty much everywhere. You fear parking, you hate walking around your own neighborhood and you're just in a constant state of worry. Even if you're obeying their laws, there are countless tickets given out "by accident" for doing things like parking in front of broken hydrants, parking some arbitrary distance from a bike lane, etc. Do you want to be outside, playing with your children or walking your dog and have to avoid the "Ticket (Wo)Man?"
2. Ticketing doesn't solve the problem
You've committed a parking violation. Usually, these are done by accident. You are then forced to pay $20+ to the state and PPA. Where does that money go? Does it solve the problem? With parking, it is important to think about these things. Would all the money paid in fines be worth it if it went to actually create parking lots for neighborhoods? Often, a ticket can be a huge struggle to pay for people in financial pickles. And why does your hard earned money go right into the pocket of a PPA officer who is only leeching from society? This system does not make sense.
3. Neighborhoods don't need permit parking
I have lived in many parts of Philadelphia. As neighborhoods become more popular, yes, parking for residents gets harder. But this is not a problem that permits can solve. It is simply a space problem. If you are complaining about "frat parties and college kids," parties usually take place after permit parking remains affective. 2 hour limits mean nothing at 10PM, usually. Your best bet is finding the best time to get home and park when the most spots are available. Otherwise, it is just a fact of life that you may have to drive around a bit to find a spot. The government can't erase residents or magically create more spots for you.
4. Small businesses suffer from the PPA
Imagine it's Sunday. Free parking (if the PPA allows it). Chaos in the streets? Mass mayhem? In fact, quite the opposite! Many people enjoy going out and supporting small businesses when the parking is free and easy. Drive down Main Street during a weekday when parking is pay only and they are often open. Why does paying for parking matter? Who is benefiting but the PPA? I could see limits, but why must we pay for them? Again, it simply does not make sense.
5. Our area has a parking "culture"
Our streets are narrow, hilly and downright nutty. Following parking regulations to a T is nearly impossible and sometimes even creates more hazards. Thinking about a hilly road near you -- do cars sometimes park a little on the sidewalks to create more room for moving cars? Does a narrow street sometimes have cars parked on both sides of the road in the same direction? Does the world end? No! If the PPA were to come to our area, sure, they'd make a ton of money, but it just wouldn't fit in with our way of life.
These are just a few points regarding the PPA and why it might be a bit of a slippery slope with beckoning them to our area. If you have a serious problem with parking in your neighborhood, look into vacant lots and see if it is possible to create a new parking lot with a few neighbors. Since many residents do not have parking problems on our streets in the less dense areas, it is not the nicest gesture to make our lives worse with unneccesarry PPA officers.
I am interested to hear your thoughts, stories and suggessions concerning parking and looking forward to reading the comments.