First phase of towing begins in Center City's papal visit security zones

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The time Center City residents have been dreading has finally come.

Phase one of towing in restricted parking areas started Sunday in preparation for the pope's visit.

Officials have asked residents to move their vehicles to legal parking spots outside of their neighborhood or choose from one of the city's alternative parking options.

Fairmount resident Kelly DiCicco opted to move her car to the suburbs.

"I had to go out to the suburbs where my parents live in Willow Grove. I had to park my car there and take the regional rail back," said DiCicco. "Now I'm depending on cabs and Uber."

Other residents in the area who decided to move their vehicles to a different neighborhood worry they will have to fight for street parking due to limited space.

To avoid the hassle all together, some residents have decided to take a vacation away from the city.

"We decided probably just to leave town to visit my parents in Wilmington because office buildings are closed, day cares are closed," said Mandy Bartoshesky of Fairmount.

Not all of the towing will happen Sunday. Here is the schedule:

    At 6:00 p.m. today (Sunday, September 20), areas around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the Art Museum extending East to 12th Street.

    At 9:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, areas North and South of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    At 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, areas East of 12th Street to 3rd Street.

    At 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 23, designated emergency routes will be cleared of parked cars.


To assist residents in these no-parking areas, the City and Philadelphia Parking Authority said it is offering the following parking options:

-Residential Parking Permit zones (other than the one to which they are assigned) anywhere in the city from Sunday, September 20th until 8:00 am on Tuesday, September 29th.

-Naval Hospital Lot, 1600 Pattison Ave. - 1,500 parking spots available beginning September 21st (free);

-Gateway Parking Garage, 16th and Vine Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit);

-Family Courthouse Garage, 15th and Arch Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit);

-Old City AutoPark, 2nd and Sansom Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit);

-Jefferson AutoPark, 10th and Ludlow Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit);

-The Gallery Mall AutoPark, 9th and Filbert Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit); and

-Chestnut Street Surface Lot, 8th and Chestnut Streets ($20 flat rate parking Thursday, September 24 - Monday, September 28; free with a residential parking permit).

Residents can purchase parking spots at all aforementioned locations, except the Naval Hospital Lot, in advance. Once purchased, residents will be issued a placard which will exempt their vehicles from towing until Thursday, September 24 at 10:00 p.m. Placards must be displayed in the front windshield of the car. In order to purchase a garage space, proof of residency is required.

Residents can park their cars in their purchased garage spaces beginning Thursday, September 24 at 6:00 p.m.

For more information on purchasing garage parking and getting a towing exemption placard, log on to www.philapark.org or call 215-683-9600 (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).



Another option if you live in one of the zones: if your car has a current, valid parking permit, you don't have to put your car in a garage for 3 days, if you can find a spot.

Under the new rule, residents of the following Residential Permit Parking Districts will be allowed to park on any block in any posted Residential Permit Parking district from Sunday, September 20, 2015 until 8:00 am on Tuesday, September 29, 2015:

    Permit Parking District 1 (Rittenhouse Square)
    Permit Parking District 4 (Washington Square West)
    Permit Parking District 5 (Society Hill)
    Permit Parking District (Logan Square)
    Permit Parking District 10 (Chinatown)


This option is only available for residents who have a current valid parking permit from their district.

The Parking Authority adds that the rule will only apply to posted permit parking blocks and does not permit vehicles to be parked in violation of other parking rules.

People with questions may call the Parking Authority at 215-222-9100 and select option 2.
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