PPA Begins Enforcing Parking Restrictions For Phase 2 of Mechanical Street Sweeping Pilot Program: 'It's Like A Trap'
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If your car is in the way of a Philadelphia street cleaner, you're going to pay. The Philadelphia Parking Authority says it's no longer issuing warnings, and some drivers have found this out the hard way.
Here is where the Streets Department trains drivers on the broom trucks, but it's citizens who appear to be in need of additional information. That's after the PPA issued more than 1,500 tickets to drivers who didn't move cars for scheduled street sweeping on Monday.
Street sweepers are hitting the road once again, but this time, the PPA is issuing $31 tickets to drivers who don't move their cars.
"I've been parking my car here since 2009, so to get a parking ticket for street cleaning was like mind-blowing," Dubbiel Sowell said. "I was not prepared for it."
Sowell is among the many drivers who received a fine on 58th Street and Woodland Avenue in Kingsessing.
"This is insane, all these tickets here," said Shakiyla Jackson, who works in the neighborhood.
On Monday, the city began enforcing parking restrictions for Phase 2 of the Mechanical Street Sweeping Pilot Program in portions of north-central, Kensington, South Philly, Southwest, Strawberry Mansion and West Philly.
Since last month, the city has asked residents to move their cars once a week for a two-hour period so street sweepers can reach the curb and collect trash more effectively.
"This is the first day. In some areas of the city, it's about 50%," Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams said of the compliance rate. "In other areas, it's not very good. It's about 20%."
That means only 20% of drivers moved their cars.
Sowell says part of the problem is the lack of signage.
"Behind this tree, there's a sign that says no truck parking, and if you keep going, behind this tree, which you would never ever possibly see, it says street cleaning," Sowell said. "So it's like a trap."
But Williams is unapologetic about the tickets.
"We did as much notification as we can, could over the past couple of weeks," Williams said. "We gave warnings, we went door to door with information. We put on social media, we put out press releases to let people know this day was coming."
Despite the inconvenience of residents having to move their cars in areas where parking is hard to find, the Streets commissioner says the street program is making the city cleaner.
He says more than 400 tons of trash have been removed off the street since last month.
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