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BY PATRICK KERKSTRA INQUIRER STAFF WRITER When it comes to ruthless efficiency in local government, the Philadelphia Parking Authority would seem peerless. With an army of blue-uniformed parking enforcers blanketing Philadelphia each day, the agency has become one of the nation’s most aggressive towing, booting and ticket-writing juggernauts since state Republicans took control of it in 2001.

The authority slaps nearly 1.6 million violation notices on the windshields of Philadelphia drivers annually, a 35 percent increase over 2001. Nearly 50,000 vehicles are towed, more than double the old figure. Meters require more feeding, the hourly rate at authority garages is up 50 percent, andpirate2.jpg parking enforcement officers prowl hundreds of additional square blocks in neighborhoods they rarely ventured into before.

All told, the authority now squeezes $192 million a year out of Philadelphia drivers.

That’s tough enough for many to take, even assuming that the cash is being used for a clear public good: hiring teachers, say, or paving city streets. But as an Inquirer analysis shows, the Parking Authority has become a self-replicating patronage machine that has used its new revenue principally to double the size of its staff and to inflate the salaries of its myriad managers.

Despite revenue growth of 54.5 percent since fiscal 2001, the authority has delivered only a pittance of extra help for the city’s general fund: an average of $740,000 a year, or 4 percent, when adjusted for inflation. MORE

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6 Responses to “QUESTION THE PARKING AUTHORITY: Stop Piracy!”


    Just noticed on local news (Harrisburg area) that Philly Parking Authority is still playing their silly games with bogus parking tickets. Must be lucrative if they’re still at it; I received one around 1973 when I lived in Pittsburgh and had never been in Philadelphia. I wrote them (not notarized) that I had never been in the city, and that’s the last I heard of it. It must pay off, or in all these years they’d have straightened out their system, huh?


    I have gotten several parking tickets from Philadelphia.I have sent them copies of my time cards proving i was at work.i was told i had to file a DL135,i did ,they sent it back.i was told this plate is on a Fed-ex truck,which i dont own.I called Penn.DOT and that license plate was dead as of 2004. They refuse to believe me or call Penn.Dot themselves.I dont know what else,but i also have never been to Philadelphia.

  3. Mike ZEE Says:

    I live in a residential neiborhood in Philadelphia, where the PPA previously did not patrol or have any meters or parking signs. I drive my motorcycle in the summer months to and from work. My car stays on the street in front of my house during these months while I am at work.

    One day after being at work I came home to find a new “no parking ” sign posted(in front of my house). If that was not irretating enough I had a ticket on my windshield to go along with !! So just to get it straight …. the PPA posted a no parking sign then proceeded to ticket my car (which had already been sitting there all day) with a ticket for parking in a no parking zone !!! what the @!#$ !!!

    It is way too much of a hassle to take pictures, lose $ for taking off work, & spend all day in court just to attempt to prove they messed up.

  4. rich Says:

    i just received a parking ticket from philly never been there. i live in fayette county pa. the ticket i received state i never replied to the first one so the fine nearly tripled i took it to my local state rep. he said he is over run with bogs philly tickets. and do his best to help. after asking around i have come across several people with the same complaint. semes like philly is being run by boss hog and roscoe

  5. Avi Says:

    I receive constant parking tickets even though I have a residential parking permit. I receive tickets for areas I do not park in. For areas where my permit applies this is no problem – I call (it’s a hassle) and get it taken care of. For other areas my options are to go to court (which would mean I have to spend my time – loss of work -and money – transportation) to fight the ticket or pay the ticket.

    Philadelphia Parking Authority are criminal.

  6. Steve Says:

    In front of the Federal Building on Chestnut St. there is a sign that says “Official Police Business Parking Only” and right in front of the sign was a black car with a placard on the windshield that said “Official Police Business.” But there was also a parking ticket on the car. I guess not even the police are immune to the PPA. The same day, I parked at a meter and found it wouldn’t take coins. I put a note on the windshield that the meter was broken and came back to find a ticked on top of my note. The PPA is out of control.

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