If you’ve ever found a parking ticket on your windshield, you may appreciate how a new group of digital watchdogs is putting the Philadelphia Parking Authority under its Twitter-scope.
These anonymous Twitter users from Center City are on a mission to spot instances of the Philadelphia Parking Authority not practicing what it preaches.
Using the Twitter handle @PPAwatch, the social media watchdogs solicit and post photos of authority personnel doing things like parking in handicapped spots or in front of fire hydrants.
One tweeter, who requested to remain annonymous, says he got involved because he’s concerned about public safety.
“There’s certainly no emergency situation in which a PPA vehicle needs to park in front of a fire hydrant or something,” he said. “It’s so hypocritical for them to park illegally themselves while writing someone else a ticket.”
Jim Wible, a former PPA ticketing officer, says he’s seen authority vehicles parked illegally, even though it’s against policy.
“There are strict rules that if you’re parked illegally in a Parking Authority car you can be ticketed.”
He thinks @PPAwatch is a good idea, as long as it doesn’t get into harassing individual officers.
The parking authority would not comment to WHYY, but it apparently is not amused. The authority complained to Twitter that the account was using the PPA logo without permission. Twitter suspended the account for a while. @PPAwatch replaced the authority image with one of a canine, and now it’s back in action.