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.
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
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.