Bicycle Coalition

Editor’s note: The Vision Zero Alliance is actively supporting legislation which would increase the fines for illegal parking. We stopped by City Hall today to drop the letter off, noting that it would be important to increase the fee for illegally parking, considering it not just causes congestion in the city, but puts peoples’ lives in danger.

City Council is considering a vote on Bill 190467-A, which would increase fines for parking violations in Philadelphia. The reason for the proposed increase is that the current level of fines is ineffective at deterring violations. The bill increases several $50 parking fines to $75, and $75 fines to $100. 

 The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance — a group consisting of more than 20 local organizations, including the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, AARP-PA, Clean Air Council, AAA-Mid Atlantic, the American Heart Association, and others dedicated to safe streets — supports this legislation. 

Our support is not just due to the consistent illegal parking which backs up motor vehicles, causing gridlock and adds to congestion in Philadelphia; but because double-parking creates obstructions in the streets and often creates visual barriers for pedestrians and bicyclists, putting hundreds of lives at risk, daily.

 Additionally, the routine blocking of bike lanes throughout Philadelphia creates a serious risk for cyclists having to swerve around the obstructing vehicle. When this happens, the motorists not expecting the swerving bicyclist, and the pedestrian whose vision of this incident being completely blocked.

 Increasing the fines for double-parking could help cut down on such illegal parking. We believe in addition to relieving congestion, this is very much a Vision Zero bill.

 When the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia began meeting with the Philadelphia Parking Authority to discuss blocked bike lanes in 2013 and 2014, our goal was simple: Identify the worst spots in the city for illegally-parked vehicles in bike lanes, and increase ticketing there.

 While the PPA handed out just 1,991 tickets for bike lane infractions in 2014, they wrote 5,440 in 2018. This represents an increase of 173 percent.

 That’s a good thing, but more is needed to curb the problem.

 For the contractors, ride hailing drivers and private vehicle owners who pull into bike lanes, sit there, and get tickets, the $75 fee just isn’t enough of a punishment. Ticketing has changed over the last five years, but the offenders’ habits have not. An increase in the fine may help change that.

 We ask for your support in increasing the ticket cost for illegal parking in Philadelphia.


The Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance

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