Thousands of Philadelphia drivers ticketed for leaving cars in path of street sweepers

People in more than a dozen neighborhoods now have to pay closer attention to the signs on their blocks.

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Thousands of drivers in Philadelphia were issued tickets Monday, the first day the city enforced parking restrictions related to its street sweeping program.

People in more than a dozen neighborhoods now have to pay closer attention to the signs on their blocks, detailing when mechanical brooms will be coming through.

“I’ve only been here 10 minutes at most,” said Ray Wewer. He was working on a home on 24th Street in Point Breeze when he found a surprise on his windshield.

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“It’s a scam. Thirty-one dollars,” he said. “I got a speeding ticket back in 2000 right before I got married. That’s the only ticket I ever got. Besides parking in Philly. That’s it.”

As of 1 p.m. Monday, the parking authority said it had issued more than 2,200 tickets in 14 different neighborhoods. The fine is $31.

“I don’t understand why the city just did this to the people. It’s a shame,” said Elizabeth Days from Point Breeze.

Its goal is to clean the streets. The city started a cleaning program last month where it sends mechanical brooms and workers with blowers throughout 14 neighborhoods.

The program is part of a $62 million investment over five years to clean neighborhoods identified as having litter on the streets.

Different blocks will be cleaned on different days.

“If we do 22nd Street and 23rd Street it’s kind of hard for parking. So we do 22nd Street, then we skip over to 24th, so that way that in-between day there’s parking for the residents on the other street,” explained Troy Coopers from the Philadelphia Streets Department.

The issue: workers can’t get all the trash with cars in the way.

“We would like to go curb line to curb line so we can clean the street so it can be discouraging when the cars aren’t moved,” said Cooper.

The city says after installing the street cleaning signs, it gave neighbors a heads up ticketing enforcement would being on May 1st.

The ticketing blitz sent some people running to their cars.

“It’s good to get the cars moving, to get the changeover on the spots anyway. Otherwise, you get cars that park here for months,” said Matthew Sigafus, who got to his car right before the PPA did.

Others say they couldn’t move their cars if they wanted to.

“I’m waiting for the tow truck. So that’s what I’m saying, can she give me some time?” said Brianna Sneed from Point Breeze.

The parking authority said drivers can expect a ticket every time their vehicle is caught on a block during the designated street cleaning hours.

If a driver has three or more outstanding tickets from the PPA for any offense, they’re at risk of the PPA putting a boot on their vehicle.

Motorists can use a web-based map to view when the broom has completed cleaning during the two-hour window to determine when and if they can return their vehicle.

The online tool can be found at

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“No parking” signage during specified times will be enforced in all 14 areas beginning Monday, May 1:

– Frankford: Bridge St. to Adams Ave. from Griscom St. to Torresdale Ave.

– Germantown: Berkley St. to Chelten Ave. from Pulaski Ave. to Wakefield St.

– Kensington: 2nd St. to Kensington Ave. from Tioga St. to Lehigh Ave.

– Logan: Godfrey St. to Roosevelt Blvd. from Broad St. to 5th Sts.

– Nicetown: Broad St. to Clarissa St. from Hunting Park Ave. to Windrim Ave.

– North Central: Broad St. to 22nd St. from Glenwood Ave. to Diamond St.

– Paschall: 58th St. to 70th St. from Greenway Ave. to Dicks St.

– Point Breeze: Christian St. to McKean St. from Broad St. to 24th St.

– Port Richmond: Kensington Ave. to Aramingo Ave. from Tioga St. to Lehigh Ave.

– South Philly: McKean St. to Oregon Ave. from 4th St. to 8th St.

– Southwest: Woodland Ave. to Kingsessing Ave. from 49th St. to Cemetery Ave.

– Strawberry Mansion: Diamond St. to Lehigh Ave. from Sedgley St. to 33rd St.

– West Fairhill: 5th St. to 13th St. from Glenwood Ave. to Susquehanna Ave.

– West Philly: Parkside Ave. to Spring Garden St. from 52nd St. to 40th St.

When it comes to bike lanes, it’s always been illegal to park in one, but starting Monday the PPA will be stepping up its enforcement with officers on bicycles who will be handing out tickets to those who park in bike lanes.

Officials said eight PPA bicycle officers will be riding in bike lanes in Center City, University City and South Philadelphia.

“In the Center City, University City area for the violation of the bike lane, it’s a $76 ticket and in South Philadelphia or outlying areas of Center City and University City, it’s a $51 ticket,” said Rich Lazer, executive director of the PPA.

Since 2014, the PPA has written over 25,000 tickets for bike lane violations, but we’re told it’s still a big issue, especially in parts of Center City.

“Every single day, multiple times a day it is a shock with there is not a car in a bike lane,” said Nicole Brunet, Policy Director of Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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