Philadelphia police

Philadelphia Restricting Parking on South Street to Create Public Safety Lane

The pilot program is designed to create a way for police, fire and EMS vehicles to bypass traffic jams along the busy street

Late night parking along a stretch of South Street in Philadelphia is about to get a lot harder starting this weekend.

Curbside parking on the north side of South Street between 6th and 2nd streets will be barred between midnight and 3 a.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the fall.

The open spaces will be used as a lane for police and other public safety vehicles. Those who don't move their car will likely have it towed away by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The pilot program was developed by the South Street Headhouse District community organization, Philadelphia police and the PPA.

"We don’t want it to be over congested and we want traffic to flow and public safety to allow vehicles through and keeps people moving," said Michael Harris from the South Street Headhouse District.

A second phase of the pilot will be implemented in two weeks and will change metered parking times on both sides of South Street.

Metered parking will slide from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. - midnight. Motorcycle and scooter parking will move from 4th to 6th street.

With many bars, shops and live music venues, South Street is often filled with large crowds on the weekend. There have also been assaults, large brawls and even shootings in that area.

Ken Silver, owner of Jim's Steaks, believes the change will help police better manage crowds.

"I think it will actually help business," he said Friday.

Neighbor David Kern, who has lived on South for 20 years, called the change a "smart move."

"The street is clogged up, non-moving traffic," Kern said. "The fire department, the police, they can’t get down the street. It’s a safety issue."

Visitors from out of the city, like Jada Davis from King of Prussia, aren't happy with the change.

"I can see people fighting over parking spots and it getting worse," she said.

Officials said they'll be looking for the public's feedback on the pilot as they determine whether to make the change permanent. People can share their thoughts by sending an email to

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