As a longtime Philadelphia realtor, and hence, longtime abuser of the rules and regulations of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, I would like to share some insight to those looking to move into our fair city into say a Society Hill condo, Rittenhouse Square penthouse, whatever. The following is just an odd assortment of things I have learned over the years. Based on the notion that if the city was as well run as our parking authority, the streets in downtown Philadelphia would be paved in gold:
1) If the sign says no parking from 3:30pm-7:30pm, this is not a suggestion. This means your car will be towed. Like along Walnut Street, and N. 3rd Street.
2) Relating to # 1 above- If the meter won’t take your money, check the signage as you may be entering a time when parking is not allowed
3) You can pay parking tickets online at www.Phila.gov I would suggest you bookmark this page
4) If you are a Center City real estate owner, you may be able to get a yearly parking permit for your specific area for $35 a year. This means you will not have to move your car every two hours, or feed parking meters. Rules and regulations apply. You will want to visit www.philapark.org or go see them in person at 3101 Market. Ask if it is true that to be employed there, you must have a tail. Or one eyeball in the middle of your forehead…Kidding.
5) Go to the nearest 7-11 and buy yourself a “Smart Card”. Basically a pre-paid parking meter card. They can be found on the parking authority website as well.
6) If your parking meter is broken, I have always believed you get 2 free hours of parking at that meter. I have yet to be ticketed for a broken meter
7) You do not really have to be loading stuff to park in a loading zone. Just don’t stay longer than 20 minutes (per THAT sign)
8) If you do get a ticket while parked at a broken meter, there is meter #, and the phone number for the parking authority. They may rescind the ticket.
9) DO NOT allow some high rise Rittenhouse Square condo building to tell you that you can’t parking in “their” loading zone. They don’t own the loading zone. The city does. Park away!
10) Almost always, parking meter people are fair and are not antagonistic. A smile and a polite word goes a long way. Be nice, they are just doing their job. And remember that you are the goof who has violated a policy or parking rule. So suck it up and pay the ticket. BUT pay the ticket on time. If you delay, the ticket goes WAY UP in cost to you. You might be shocked. So pay it on time.
Following these rules should help you to cut your monthly intake of parking tickets. I have cut my rate from three tickets a month, to about two a year. Good luck and welcome to Philadelphia!
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106