By Pat Loeb and Anita Oh
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–In an effort to generate additional revenue, the Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to erect fourteen 6’x12′ advertising signs at six neighborhood lots across the city as well as 14 more in four Center City garages.
The neighborhood lots are in Bella Vista, East Passyunk, Logan Square, Passyunk Square, Old City, and Washington Square West.
“I would hope they would maybe use it as an opportunity to advertise our wonderful city,” said Tamekia Young.
Martin O’Rourke, spokesman for the PPA, said advertising from the signs is expected to generate an estimated $140,000 per year.
That money, he says, would go towards maintaining and improving the lots.
Some neighbors, who oppose the commercialization of residential areas, want to bring the project to a halt.
“I don’t think there’s a lot [of advertising] in this area, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to start right now,” said Lauren Foster of south Philadelphia.
As of a Friday, more than 1,300 people had signed an online petition, organized by the Political Action Committee, 5th Square, against the signs.
“I think the biggest concern is there has been absolutely no community input,” said Dena Driscoll, co-chair of 5th Square.
Driscoll lives by the parking lot on S. 12th Street in Passyunk Square, which sits across the street from a park.
“My children will be bombarded by ads as they swing on swings,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll is appealing the issuing of a city zoning permit, which allows such a sign at this location.
But others say they don’t mind as long as the advertising content is appropriate.
“This is a district where there are a lot of tourists so I would want it to be family friendly,” Young said.