By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority earlier this month launched a pilot program that lets motorcycle and scooter riders park for free at specially designated on-street spaces in center city.
The problem is, some enforcement officers didn’t get the message, and some riders have been getting tickets.
The Parking Authority’s test of new motorcycle and scooter parking rules runs through October. In residential areas, the two-wheeled vehicles can be parked on the sidewalk. In center city, riders can park for free in what are called “corrals” — designated on-streets spots where meters have been removed.
But Rick Dickson, deputy executive director of the PPA, says some riders were incorrectly ticketed because the enforcement officer didn’t know the new policy.
“Apparently in a very small number of cases, some (officers) did not get the message, and a couple of tickets were issued in error,” he acknowledges.
Dickson says the number of bad tickets was “less than five,” but members of the Motorcycle and Scooter Coalition of Philadelphia believe the problem is more widespread.
One member, Gabriella Shay, raised the issue to members of the Parking Authority board at the board’s meeting this morning (photo below).
“I’ve come across quite a few motorcycle and scooter riders who have been ticketed for ‘expired meter’ when there’s no meter on the parking spot,” she said. “So it’s kind of frustrating. We’re just a bit confused about how a lot of the PPA officers don’t know about this. We’re wondering about the lack of communication.”
Another member of the coalition who appeared before the board was Elizabeth Ray:
“Individual riders understandably are frustrated that there hasn’t been apparently enough communication to PPA officers on the ground that they shouldn’t be issuing tickets,” she said.
Dickson believes the word is finally getting out to enforcement officers, and that any such tickets will be canceled.
“We hope that the problem disappears completely,” he said today. “While we’re in the process of implementing a new policy, there could be some people who don’t get the message right away. But we have taken steps both to ensure that the tickets that were issued in error are being canceled, and that the enforcement officers get the information they need to correctly enforce those areas.”
Any motorcycle or scooter operator who believes he or she was incorrectly ticketed under the pilot program should call the PPA’s customer service office at 215-683-9728. Officials say the cases will be reviewed and the tickets canceled if issued in error.