Despite the opening Friday of a 150-car lot for drivers waiting to pick up arriving passengers at Philadelphia International Airport, a number of cars lined the shoulders of a highway off-ramp during a spot check by the Daily News yesterday afternoon.
At about 4 o'clock, 11 cars were parked on the shoulder of the I-95 South off-ramp, six of them in front of a sign that read "No Shoulder Parking."
The signs alerting drivers of the location of the Cell Phone Waiting Lot were posted several hundred feet past those cars. The lot was nearly full but had about 20 available spots.
Since the opening of the lot, police said, there has been no significant increase in tickets issued, but they stressed the importance of drivers' compliance.
"This new lot is in a perfect location, it's safe, it's well-lit, there is no excuse not to use this lot," said Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, of the police Counter-Terrorism Unit.
"We ask people to remember that we're not doing this to inconvenience them but that these types of regulations were developed at all major airports and they are there to keep everyone safe," Sullivan said.
Since Friday, Sullivan and the police airport unit have requested more signage to help drivers locate the new lot, which is on airport grounds near the Terminal A parking garage.
"Despite the best efforts of the media, many people still don't know where the lots are at," Sullivan said. "We'd much rather prefer not to have to issue tickets."
Police began ticketing drivers who waited on approach roads in August, prompting calls for a better alternative to an ill-used cell phone lot off Bartram Avenue that was difficult to find.