For the fifth consecutive month, a group of motorcyclists and scooter drivers arrived at the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s headquarters to voice their concerns over impending changes to parking regulations during the agency’s monthly board meeting, only to be turned away when the session was canceled.
The nearly dozen motorcyclists and scooter drivers planned to attend the meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.at the PPA’s headquarters at 701 Market St., even though motorcycle and scooter parking were not part of the agenda.
The group, all of whom declined to comment, consistently appears at the board meetings so a representative can draw attention to the need for smaller motorcycles and scooters to park on sidewalks so they can be locked to a bike rack, the railing of a porch stoop or other structure to prevent theft.
Sidewalk parking is against state law and, in 2009, the PPA began a “pilot period” in which its agents issued tickets for sidewalk parking along certain streets in Center City where the authority had established on-street spaces designated for motorcycles and scooters. Aside from those specific streets, most others parked throughout the city did not receive fines as long as they did not dramatically block the right of way on the sidewalk.
When the “pilot period” ended last fall, parking enforcement agents began ticketing any scooter parked on the sidewalk, upsetting drivers who said they were not given any warning.
The backlash caused the PPA to dial back its ticketing and, in January, the parking authority announced guidelines that allowed scooter drivers to park on the sidewalk in front of their homes if they have a residential parking permit.
But many scooter owners insist sidewalk parking is necessary regardless of where they are in the city so they can chain their vehicle to a bike rack to prevent theft. Plus, on various community blogs, drivers are complaining that PPA agents are doling out fines even when currently established rules were followed.
The PPA is still finalizing regulations for scooter and motorcycle parking, but there is no indication that Philadelphia will go against state law and allow sidewalk parking.
A group of concerned motorcyclists and scooter riders intend to return to the rescheduled board meeting, which will take place Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., according to a PPA spokesman. A notice on PPA’s website indicates it will begin at 12:30 p.m., but the spokesman reiterated the session will start at 11:30 a.m.