Philly looks to relieve traffic jam by increasing fines for certain parking violations

Traffic jam.
Photo credit Kichigin/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Fines for certain parking violations could be going up in Philadelphia soon and City Council could vote as early as this week on a bill designed to tackle congestion by collecting more from vehicles that block traffic.

How many times has it happened to you? You're trying to get somewhere on Philadelphia's narrow streets and a delivery truck stops dead in front of you, the driver disappears and you're stuck. 

"Hopefully the increase in fines will deter people from committing these violations," said Councilman Mark Squilla, who sponsored the bill at the request of the managing director's office, which believes that the current level of fines is too low to discourage bad behavior.

"People will be willing to accept them as part of doing business," he added.

The bill raises fines for more than a dozen violations: double parking, blocking the highway, parking in an intersection, in a crosswalk. 

It also includes people who park in bus or trolley lanes so they can't pass. Fines for those sorts of violations would go up to $100 citywide.

Squilla says the goal is to stop the behavior, but if it also brings it extra revenue, it could be used to reduce the parking tax so garage parking might be cheaper. 

The bill would expire in December 2020 so the city could take stock of how it's working.