PPA in Roxborough-Manayunk a slippery slope

Is parking in Roxborough and Manayunk really a problem? Would bringing more PPA enforcement to the area be worth it?

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.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ML February 04, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I've been ticketed at least 4 times over the 3 years I've lived in Manayunk...all deservedly, and I have to say, I've learned my lessons. Although sometimes annoying, I wish parking was enforced a little bit more. There have been countless times I've been unable to turn corners or safely drive down a street because of people parked too close to corners and such. I admit, the first time I got a ticket for parking something like 5 feet from a corner I was angry, but that went away the first time I couldn't adequately turn because of a vehicle parked too closely. In my experience, the parking laws exist for a reason, especially in Manayunk. Also - I've only ever seen a cop giving a ticket ONCE, for a car illegally parked partly in my neighbor's handicapped spot, and they had obviously called about it (the same people who called the cops at 10pm on a saturday while I was having a dinner party...but whatever) I see the PPA all over Manayunk and especially in my old neighborhood (up the hill), I'd see them every day. Except not in the rain, because the PPA doesn't ticket in the rain.
Kevin February 04, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Michael, I think that I have made my opinion on this issue very clear. As you and others have pointed out, the street parking around here stinks. It will only continue to get worse unless something is done. Doing nothing or continuing to do what we've been doing doesn't work.The PPA has a job to do. I say let them do their job. Roxborough shouldn't be any different than Old City or SP when it comes to enforcing the rules... Rules aren't rules, unless they apply to EVERYONE. It isn't my problem or your neighbor's problem or the the city's problem where you park your vehicle. It's your problem. If you refuse to take responsibility for yourself and your vehicle then you should pay the consequences. Can't find lot parking in Rox? Idk, maybe put an add out on CL? Or the paper? Go to a civic meeting, introduce yourself and ask around there? I'm sure someone near you would be more than happy to take your money in exchange for a parking space or garage. There is a big PPA lot on main. Too far to walk, Michael? Don't feel like taking on that hill every day and night?? Too bad! You chose to live here
Kevin February 04, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Kenny. Please don't compare your little insignificant anti-PPA rebellion to the civil rights struggle. That argument is disgusting and insulting.
ML February 05, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Kenneth also thinks homes don't catch on fire anymore...even though there was a Roxborough house fire last week...?
Ines Stelzer February 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Are you kidding me? If you park near a hydrant the chances are your nearby? Really, well I live on Silverwood, and every Friday & Saturday we get all the main street goers, they park on our street and walk down to main. Then when the bars close they take cabs to their cars. Meanwhile, we have to drive around, park a block or more away because these dopes take our spots, meanwhile there's an empty public parking lot that they can use, but no they park in front of our houses AND they park near the fire hydrant. I doubt if a house caught on fire they would hear it and more their car. You don't hear of houses catching on fire too often?? There were a few fires in Roxborough in the past few years. How can you say safety is not compromised? If a car is 2 fee from a hydrant, they have to work around some car to get their hose hooked-up, meanwhile the house is burning. If it wasn't a problem, why do thy give out big fines for doing so. If you don't like the parking in Manayunk, move somewhere else, if you can't find parking do what we've done for 30 years, drive around til you find one. Park like you own the place, then you deserve a ticket.


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