PHL airport parking crackdown begins

PHILADELPHIA - August 31, 2009 Troopers are cracking down on parking along the ramps approaching the airport. People often stop there to wait to pick up a passengers.

Enforcement began on Monday. Now, parking there will cost you.

A shoulder of an I-95 ramp is where some motorists wait for word that a passenger they're picking up has arrived.

The cars sit just a few feet from speeding traffic.

"This has been a problem for years now. Nothing I can speak of in particular has happened, haven't had any fatalities in that area. But we don't want to wait until something happens," said Tpr. Danea Durham of the State Police.

Saying shoulder parking is illegal and dangerous, state police have started cracking down, issuing $97 to $147 tickets to violators.

A nearby PennDot Park and Ride lot is where drivers can idle while waiting for passenger pick ups. Yet many drivers choose the shoulder of a road.

That lot, built for commuters 6 years ago, doubles as a cell phone lot. The 60 space, lighted lot on Bartram Avenue is free and can be accessed from I-95 north or south by taking the Cargo City exit in either direction.

A spokesperson from AAA applauded the state police effort to crackdown on unsafe shoulder parking and supports the use of a cell phone lot.

But, she's critical of the signage saying it doesn't clearly direct drivers to the lot.

"We want a common sense resolution for motorists so they can look at a sign and know where to go," said Cathy Rossi of AAA.

On Monday, PennDot erected 33 new signs promoting the lot. They compliment existing park & ride signs.

But some are hard to see.

The American Automobile Association reportedly offered to help pay for what it deems better signage. Some motorists do report problems finding the lot.

"I do think it was difficult, initially, to find this place. But now that I've been here, I'll be taking this route from now on," said Dave Kirsch of Broomall, Pa.

RELATED LINK: Park and Ride information on PHL's website

Directions to the Park and Ride lot:

To access the Park & Ride from I-95 Southbound:

Take Exit 12B "Cargo City." At the light at the end of the ramp, turn left onto Bartram Avenue. Follow the signs to the lot, which is on the left.

From I-95 Northbound:

Take Exit 10 "Bartram Avenue/Cargo City." At the 1st light, turn left onto Bartram Avenue and follow Bartram Avenue to the lot, which will be approximately ½ mile up the road on the right.

To return to the Airport from the Park & Ride Lot:

Turn right onto Bartram Avenue and follow Bartram Avenue to Island Avenue. Turn right onto Island Avenue and follow the signs for I-95 South. From I-95 South, take Exit 12A to Philadelphia International Airport and follow the signs for "Arriving Flights."

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