Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parking Meter Removal Hits Ground Zero

It happened!

The Parking Authority's Smart Meter Conversion reached the 1500 Block of Walnut St Today. A block that often sees more than 30 bikes parked to meters, racks, poles and trees.

1500 Block of Walnut

It's possible to lift this bike off the pole - 1500 Walnut St 8-20-09.

On a daily basis, the Bicycle Coalition has been receiving messages and questions from bicyclists noting the loss of parking meter heads and the rapidly dwindling supply of bike parking in Center City.

We've made several posts on the Coalition's blog here and here about this issue and we've been asking the Mayor's Office of Transportation repeatedly to let us know the progress of the discussions they have been having with the PPA about converting meters into racks.

It appears that while the the Mayor's Office on Transportation has come to some sort of understanding with the PPA that some poles will be converted, they haven't been able to share with the Coalition or the public any details of the agreement or if it is finalized. We don't know 1) how many meters will be converted, 2) the locations of the meter poles that will be converted; and 3) when the conversion will happen, . All we know is that the PPA has hit Ground Zero today and is removing meter heads from the 1500 block of Walnut Street (they are moving westward through Center City).

At Tuesday's Philadelphia City Committee meeting, we did ask Charles Carmalt, the City's Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator to request PPA to not remove the bar that sits on top double meter posts. He said he would make that request. We will post more information as we receive it from the Administration.

If you have problems with you bike because of the meter conversion contact the Parking Authority at - (215) 222-9100‎

or contact customer service

Sue Cornell
Philadelphia Parking Authority
3101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

UPDATE 2:20 PM: Message from Andrew Stober at the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities:

"Just got off the phone with the Parking Authority. It's going out to crews right now that meter heads with bikes locked to them are not be removed. Instead the meter head will be bagged and notices put on the bikes that should be removed in 24 hours.

1500 Block of Walnut St

15th and Walnut

1500 Block of Walnut


Katie VanVliet said...

I've noticed that the city has installed more bike racks this summer, probably to compensate for the removal of the meter heads, but it's in inane places where it makes no sense to park your bike, like around logan circle next to in aviator park, and almost at the corner of 20th and the parkway at the northwest corner of the park. kind of no man's land for bikes.

or trenton avenue, in north philly, by norris street. trenton ave, btw, is a belgian block street that bikes don't ride down.


Kelly said...

I locked my bike on the 16th block of Walnut like I do daily at 9am & came out of my office at 12, only to see my bike completely available to any daring theif due to the top of the meter being cut off. I actually confronted one of the "boss" looking workers and asked him why they were leaving bikes exposed like that, and he immediately pulled out his cell phone (and called someone to report the compliant) although the whole time he was denying that my bike could be lifted off the cut off pole. This wasnt just 15th st this was at least to Rittenhouse. I park on Walnut every day and did not see a single warning- or how about doing this type of work in the evening when people leave work! A serious WTF moment, people. Thank you for blogging this and I hope it gets big media coverage.

Anonymous said...

With no alternative to lock bikes, it will only be a matter of time before the city has to remove all the trees. When they become severely damaged from the bikes locked to them.