In late July, a local activist group made its stance on the South Broad median parking debate loud and clear when it filed a lawsuit against the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Philly’s police department for failing to enforce the law.
The reaction was swift: Jake Liefer, the individual and co-founder of 5th Square who filed the lawsuit wrote in an Inquirer op-ed that parking on the South Broad median is dangerous and results “in an unsafe condition for motorists and pedestrians alike.”
Another South Philly resident followed up with another op-ed, arguing to legalize parking on the median.
A poll we put out on Curbed Philly in Friday Open Thread article garnered nearly 2,300 votes, with 55 percent of poll-takers saying that parking should be legalized.
What should happen to parking on the South Broad Street median?
This poll is closed
Philadelphians weighed in both by leaving some thoughtful comments on the Open Thread as well as on social media. Clearly, this is a hot-button issue that draws a lot of passionate Philadelphians with equally passionate views.
Commenter broadstblancobloke wrote that while he respects South Philly residents, he doesn’t respect their parking tradition:
Absolutely they should end this ludicrous tradition. It’s completely ridiculous to allow a free-for-all parking arrangement in the middle of South Broad. And to think the city and police turn a blind eye to it, it’s a total joke. [...] Having said that, I respect the residents of South Philly. By and large, they’re the kind of middle class bread and butter residents that the city needs. But still, that lame, petty parochial custom needs to end right away, no delay, right away.
Another commenter took the other side and said that while South Broad Street could be more pedestrian-friendly, millennials new to the neighborhood shouldn’t have a say in this:
A lot of these young people think they deserve a gold medal for biking to their creative jobs downtown… they are young, healthy, child-free, and work in accessible parts of the city. They have their groceries delivered, or Blue Apron, rarely need to go to medical appointments, take care of ailing family members, or much of anything that requires every adult in a household owning a car and moving it daily. [...]
What happens when you come home at 7:00 PM from some office pod in King of Prussia, struggle to find parking, and realize that your kids are hangry and you ran out of Mac and Cheese? Are you going to get back in your car and risk losing that parking spot paved in gold? [...] Probably not, you’ll have moved back to the suburbs by then.
Meanwhile, on Facebook and Twitter, some responses called for redesigns or complete overhauls of the city’s infrastructure.
Take away the parking and put protected bike lane down. No way a street this wide and important shouldn't have them.— Joseph (@bicycleriiights) July 22, 2017
While others simply said that parking in the middle of South Broad is a tradition and should stay that way.
Uniquely Philly. Last time they tried to change it almost caused a riot! This is what makes illadelph great.— nitro azpel (@friesORtots) July 22, 2017
No doubt this is a hot-button issue. But looks like Philly will have to wait for the courts to decide.