When writing about someone who has a problem with the Philadelphia Parking Authority, as I have many times, it is usually a person with one issue.
Avishai Greis is not that person. He has issues.
Greis admits he used to get “a lot” of tickets, for his 2007 Lexus and his 2018 Kymco scooter.
“But I fought all of them. Even when I’m wrong, I’m fighting it. I get a hearing and I see all the people abused by the Parking Authority there,” he says, meaning PPA’s Filbert Street office, which looks like the Ship of the Damned.
“I’m an Israeli,” he fumes. “I don’t let people abuse power.”
“It’s not the money, it’s the principle. They don’t let you breathe.”
He tells me he used to walk down the street and put coins in parking meters — remember them? — that were ready to expire, just to vex the PPA.
As Greis takes a breath during his rant, I’ll tell you he was born in Israel but has been in the United States since 1972.
Like so many immigrants, Greis, 71, has done well in America. He has run a jewelry manufacturing and repair business on Jewelers Row for years.
He and his wife raised three successful children and live on Rittenhouse Square, where his scooter was ticketed for poking into a bus zone.
Talking about it brings color to Greis’ cheeks, which are under a forest of gray hair. He’s in great shape, he says, because he swims, rides a bike, doesn’t smoke or drink or do drugs.
What he does is occasionally park illegally, although less now than when he used to rack up about 15 tickets a year.
He admits his scooter jutted about a foot into a bus zone after he repositioned it because a stiff wind knocked it over. He got ticketed, lost at a hearing, and now has an Aug. 13 appeal. PPA spokesperson Martin O’Rourke tells me PPA policy states that if half a vehicle is parked legally, it should not be ticketed. That means Greis should have prevailed at the hearing.
Regarding his other ticket, Greis’ Lexus, which he does not use every day, was legally parked on 22nd Street with his residential Zone 1 parking permit displayed. A few days later, he learned his car had been moved to Market Street by a movie company that was shooting in the neighborhood. That’s where he was ticketed for overtime parking.
Wrongfully, I think.
His wife, Sharon, took the lead fighting that ticket, but lost. They have a July 31 appeal date.
O’Rourke says Greis should get paperwork from his police district to show the car had been moved by the movie company and to bring that to his appeal.
Greis tells me he will bring the documents. I expect he also will have a speech prepared.
He believes in fighting the PPA, even when he is in the wrong.