Twitter Account Cracks Down on Illegally Parked PPA Vehicles

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013  |  Updated 9:41 AM EDT
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A watchdog account turns the tables on the PPA. NBC10's George Spencer has the story from University City.

NBC10.com - George Spencer

A watchdog account turns the tables on the PPA. NBC10's George Spencer has the story from University City.

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A van parked in front of a fire hydrant.

A sedan parked in front of a handicapped spot.

These are just a few of the many photos posted by a new Twitter account documenting illegal parking in Philadelphia.

But here’s the twist. The pictures aren’t of normal vehicles but instead, those that belong to the Philadelphia Parking Authority -- the very agency in charge of enforcing parking violations in the city.

The account, @PPAwatch, is cracking down on the PPA by posting driver-submitted photos of the parking authority violating their own rules.

Yet just as the account was beginning to gain more followers, it was suddenly suspended over the weekend after the parking authority reported it to Twitter administrators.

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“I certainly wasn’t surprised,” said the founder of PPAwatch, who wanted to remain anonymous. “But it just seems it would be easier to have your employees park legally than to go after me.”

PPA officials admitted that they reported the account. However, they claim their actions had nothing to do with them wanting to remove potentially embarrassing photos.

Instead, they claim the PPAwatch was using their trademarked logo, which was creating confusion among users who had questions for the PPA. According to PPA officials, they simply wanted the group to stop using the logo.

Jake Jacobs, a local driver, doesn’t buy the explanation, however.

“I think they’re just ticked off that somebody’s catching them in the act,” Jacobs said. “And they just want to shut it down.”

Regardless of the PPA’s true intentions, PPAwatch removed the logo and their account was restored Monday morning.

“I think it’s just adding fuel to the fire,” said the account’s founder. “People are going to continue sending photos to us.”

As of Monday night, PPAwatch has over 600 followers and counting. 

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