By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A city councilman is fed up with public officials being allowed to park their personal cars all day on the apron of City Hall, not far from where Dilworth Park received a $50-million makeover.

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Councilman Jim Kenney says the parking there has gotten out of control in recent years and is an eyesore, and he wants it banned.

Kenney says former mayors Ed Rendell and John Street reined in the use of the City Hall apron for parking by public officials and city workers.  But under the Nutter administration, he says, it’s out of control.

“It grows like a weed. There’s two cars, then four, six, ten. Then there’s trucks. It looks terrible, it’s dangerous, it’s like a thruway sometimes in there.  You feel like you need to wear a yellow traffic vest so you don’t get run over by people pulling onto the sidewalk,” Kenney tells KYW Newsradio.

So, Kenney has introduced a bill that would repeal the 1980s law that first allowed the parking on the City Hall apron.  He believes the parking — by members and staffers of both the Nutter administration and City Council at the building’s northeast corner — is ruining the historic nature of City Hall.

“It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and you should not be able to park your cars on its sidewalk,” he says.

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And Kenney points out that councilmembers and some administration officials already have assigned street spaces:

“There is so much curb that’s available around City Hall, that if you can’t walk an extra twenty or thirty feet to the door of City Hall, then something’s wrong with you.”

A spokesman for the mayor says authorized parking on the City Hall apron includes some officials who lost their on-street spaces during the multi-year renovation of Dilworth Park.

“When the parking lines are reconfigured,” wrote spokesman Mark McDonald in an e-mail, “they will return to their street parking.”

He said other temporary parking is given on a daily basis to people with disabilities, visiting guests, work crews, and delivery people.  McDonald said the administration will comment on the Kenney bill when it is debated in committee.

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