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Parking Lawsuit Has Residents Concerned In South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Roughly 200 coveted and talked about parking spots may soon be going away, and some neighbors are not happy about it.

Jake Liefer chairs Philadelphia-based political action committee 5th Square.

The group takes on inner city live-ability issues like transportation, safety and open space. Right now 5th Square is suing to get Philadelphia Police and the Parking Authority to clear cars from the middle of Broad.

"Cars are actually parking on a state highway, in the middle road, which doesn't happen anywhere else in the state," Liefer said. "And you have people jaywalk and darting into the cars and get to the sidewalk."

Joe LiTrenta acknowledges some of the safety concerns; however, he believes the roughly 200 spots are too valuable to a neighborhood where it's already tough enough to park.

"Move these cars somewhere into the neighborhood and there's nowhere for them to go," LiTrenta said.

LiTrenta is now trying to lead a group of neighbors who want to get city and state permission to finally park the Broad Street media parking tradition on the right side of the law.

"If we finally get this ironed out once and for all, it would satisfy their lawsuit," LiTrenta said. "In the current lawsuit, the claim is the law is not being enforced, while our position is the current law is incorrect and an amendment needs to be made to it."

LiTrenta suggests formalizing the decade's old unwritten rules: staying in the stripes, not parking on wide yellow lines nor on subway vents.

Liefer had some concerns about "legalizing" the median, concerned it would only encourage more jaywalking and high risk behavior.

CBS 3 is reaching out to local lawmakers for reaction to the lawsuit and the proposal to make the unofficial parking spots official.

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