‘It’s like a trap’ – CBS Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If your car gets in the way of a Philadelphia street cleaner, you’ll have to pay. The Philadelphia Parking Authority says it no longer issues warnings, and some drivers have found this out the hard way.

This is where the Streets Department trains the drivers on the broom trucks, but it is the citizens who seem to need the additional information. That was after the PPA issued more than 1,500 tickets to drivers who failed to move cars for Monday’s scheduled street sweep.

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Street sweepers are out on the streets again, but this time, the PPA issues $31 fines to drivers who don’t move their cars.

“I’ve been parking my car here since 2009, so getting a parking ticket to clean the streets was mind-boggling,” said Dubbiel Sowell. “I wasn’t ready for that.”

Sowell is among the many drivers who received a ticket at 58th Street and Woodland Avenue in Kingsessing.

“This is crazy, all these tickets here,” said Shakiyla Jackson, who works in the neighborhood.

On Monday, the city began enforcing parking restrictions for Phase 2 of the Mechanical Street Sweeping Pilot Program in parts of North Central, Kensington, South Philadelphia, Southwest, Strawberry Mansion and West Philadelphia.

Since last month, the city has asked residents to move their cars once a week for a two-hour period so street sweepers can get to the curb and collect trash more effectively.

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“This is the first day. In some areas of the city, it’s around 50%,” Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams said of the compliance rate. “In other areas, it’s not very good. It’s about 20%.”

That means only 20% of drivers moved their cars.

Sowell says part of the problem is a lack of signage.

“Behind this tree, there is a sign that says no truck parking, and if you continue, behind this tree, which you may never see, it says street cleaning,” Sowell said. “So it’s like a trap.”

But Williams makes no apologies for the tickets.

“We did as much notification as we could for the last two weeks,” Williams said. “We gave notices, we went door to door with information. We posted on social media, we put out press releases to let people know this day was coming.”

Despite the inconvenience of residents having to move their cars in areas where parking is hard to find, the Streets Commissioner says the streets program is making the city cleaner.

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It says that more than 400 tons of rubbish has been removed from the streets since last month.

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