Many scooter owners in the city who have parked their adorable vehicles in the same place on sidewalks for years returned to their scooters today to find them plastered with not-so-adorable $76 tickets from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
According to PPA spokesman Martin O'Rourke, a pilot period for ticketing motorized vehicles parked on city sidewalks that began in 2009 ended last week.
As outlined in a recent column by my colleague Ronnie Polaneczky, state law has long forbid the parking of any motorized vehicles on sidewalks, but that law was not always strictly enforced by the PPA.
O'Rourke said that the PPA's "pilot period" for ticketing scooters and motorcycles parked on sidewalks began in 2009 when parking kiosks were being installed throughout the city.
"The PPA only ticketed scooters and/or motorcycles that were clearly parked in the middle of a sidewalk or walkway, or were parked within a homeowner's property lines without the homeowner's permission," O'Rourke wrote in an email.
But during the last four years as more people began using scooters more people began complaining about them, O'Rourke said, and there became more confusion over the PPA's "limited enforcement" and the police department's "more stringent enforcement" of the state law.
Thus, the pilot period was ended last week and now the PPA and city police will be ticketing any scooter or motorcycle parked on a sidewalk or walkway, O'Rourke said.
Scooter owner Shawn League parked his 2013 Genuine Buddy scooter in front of a fitness center on South Street today where he's parked it many times before without a problem. He said it was parked "tight against he building as to not block the sidewalk," but after an hour in the gym he came out to find a $76 ticket on his Genuine Buddy.
"I asked a PPA officer about it and (he) said that it was a courtesy to us riders that they didn't ticket and that we should be parking in the street and paying full price at the kiosks," League said in an email. "Additionally, he stated that the 'public' was notified via fliers that were handed out (that I clearly didn't receive)."
Another scooter owner wrote that he'd parked his vehicle in the same spot outside of his front door in Bella Vista for four years and came out to his first ticket today.