By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With towing set to begin Sunday within the secure perimeter set up for the Pope’s visit, the Philadelphia Parking Authority says it’s trying to make it as easy as possible for Center City residents to find alternate places to put their cars.

That includes free garage spots for car owners who already have resident parking permits.

Police are posting notices in the security zone, with the dates that towing will begin, in some places, as early as 6 p.m. Sunday. But if you can prove you live there, you can reserve a space that comes with a “towing exemption” placard, allowing you to park on the street until Thursday night, then move to the garage for the weekend.

The spots are $20, but Parking Authority deputy director Rick Dickson says they’re free for those with resident permits.

“It seemed appropriate that people who have already paid for an annual permit would have some accommodation to make this easier for them.”

He says about 200 were sold in the first day of sales, about two-thirds to permit holders. Nearly 2,000 are still available at the Customer Service Center at 8th and Market, which has special evening and weekend hours.

There are 6,000 spots inside the secure perimeter but Dickson says most are not used by residents.