Free parking in Philadelphia is coming to a halt soon.
The Parking Authority will resume enforcing meter expirations on June 8 following a discussion with Managing Director Brian Abernathy, said Executive Director Scott Petri.
The return will be phased in. On-street signage and regulations will be enforced in Center City and University City beginning on that date, while meters and residential time limits will be enforced across the city on June 22.
The PPA said that approach lets it put “special emphasis on the city’s most congested corridors before expanding to outlying business and residential districts."
The PPA began the “softening of enforcement” in mid-March in response to the coronavirus, but that didn’t mean an end to ticketing. The authority has enforced safety violations, like double parking, blocking crosswalks or loading zones, since then. Towing for safety violations also has continued, Petri said.
The directive to resume enforcement came from Abernathy, city spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco confirmed.
“There might be some pushback, but there’s always pushback with a ticket,” Petri said. “We all feel that way.”
The authority is encouraging the use of its meterUP app to have contact-free parking.
The Philadelphia region is slated to enter the “yellow” reopening phase on Friday, which allows more businesses to reopen but not gatherings of more than 25 people. However, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Wednesday that it was “not a guarantee” that the city will move from “red” then.
“We have to start a process somewhere; we have to start at some point in time,” he said. “And if businesses are going to start to open, then you do need turnover at the curb, otherwise we’ll all be driving around idling and stuck in congestion.”
Regular PPA Center City garage rates will resume Monday, as will the start of 60 days of warning tickets for speeding recorded by new cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard. Once the warning period ends, drivers traveling 11 mph or more above the posted speed limit could face fines between $100 and $150.
SEPTA restored much of its transit service earlier this month and resumed front-door boarding and fare collection on buses and trolleys. It still encourages essential travel only, and riders should expect seats marked off for social distancing.