Monday, May 25, 2015

Yo, PPA - Isn't the permit good enough?

This is the body copy

Yo, PPA - Isn't the permit good enough?

James Owens lives on the 1800 block of E. Tioga St., and he has a residential-parking permit that allows him to park for as long as he wants in Permit District #19. So imagine his puzzlement when last Wednesday, July 27, he found a ticket from the Philadelphia Parking Authority placed on the windshield of his Chevy truck, fining him $26 for being parked beyond the 2-hour time limit imposed on non-permitted vehicles.

The crazy thing?

The ticket was placed right on top of the spot where his #19 permit is adhered to his windshield.

Owens admits that the permits are supposed to be placed on a vehicle's back window. But his window is broken - covered with a board - so his permit is on the front windshield for now, on the passenger side.

"The only thing I can think was, maybe the officer assumed I didn't have a parking permit, because he didn't see it on my back window" - because the back window is missing, he says. "But didn't he see it on the front? He put the ticket right on top of it!  At that point, why wouldn't he call his supervisor and say, 'Hey, I made a mistake,' and get it wiped out? Why is it on me to fight his mistake?"

Owens said he didn't bother calling the PPA, since he didn't think he'd get anywhere over the phone. So he took time off from his job as a self-employed contractor and visted the PPA's offices at 31st and Market. After showing a clerk and two different supervisors a photo of the ticket placement, he says he was told the ticket would be dismissed because "they couldn't believe it, either."

But he got no paperwork to prove the ticket was a goner.

"I hope they keep their word," he said.

Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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