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Society Hill Home Owners Occupy Bike Lanes All Weekend Long, City Does Nothing

November 20, 2011


Walking around Society Hill Saturday afternoon, I noticed what we’ve all noticed a million times, home owners blocking the Spruce and Pine street bike lanes with their cars. This happens EVERY Saturday and Sunday, and honestly I thought nothing of it, until I started noticing that NONE of the 15 or so illegally parked cars I saw had a ticket. This lead me to an interesting thought. If the city is kicking out Occupy Philly protesters from Dilworth Plaza, why isn’t the city, at the very least, ticketing people for blocking the roadway in Society Hill? Let’s think about it…

The Occupy Philly people have permits to protest in Dilworth Plaza. The home owners of Society Hill do not have permits to park in bike lanes on the weekends. [Yes, I realize their permits have expired, but I’ve talked to more than one Occupy Philly person who claims that their permit didn’t originally have an expiration, and that the city added one after they realized people were taking this movement very seriously.]

The Occupy Philly people are protesting in a public square and cause, at worst, an inconvenience to people walking by. The home owners of Society Hill are blocking a roadway and are putting bikers and motorists, alike, in danger.

The Occupy Philly people are protesting for equal representation of the 99%. The Home owners of Society Hill are just too damn lazy to walk a few blocks.

I seriously can’t think of a better example of the double standards in this city. Both groups are occupying space in the city. One, in a public space, with their bodies, to peacefully protest. And the others, with their cars, blocking roadways, to not have to walk.

What a fucking double standard! Am I crazy?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2011 1:18 pm

    I guess you could call the parking authority and request to have them towed or ticketed?

  2. November 20, 2011 1:23 pm

    Arbitrary and capricious enforcement, an essential cog of American non-justice. Oil and cars are king. The best way to dethrone them is with fare-free buses.

  3. AirRat permalink
    November 20, 2011 1:24 pm

    Or bikers should start taking out tail lights in passing! There’s acctually an interesting video that a biker from NY put together because the city was fining bikers who didn’t stay in lanes, sO the biker set out ridig down bike lanes and intentional crashing into every car, dumpster, and pile of trash that blocked the bike lane to show that you can stay in bike lanes

  4. November 20, 2011 3:25 pm

    It’s because they were cleaning the leaves off the street this weekend.

  5. Jess B. permalink
    November 20, 2011 3:37 pm

    I’m pretty sure the city gives permission to park in the bike lanes on the weekends, because there’s both a church and a synagogue in the area. It’s like that EVERY weekend.

  6. November 20, 2011 5:11 pm

    Even if they are parked illegally, thanks to political sleaziness the Parking Authority is run by the state now and, as such, is controlled by the Republican party. There’s nothing Nutter can do to force them to write tickets or not to write tickets.

  7. Jenna permalink
    November 20, 2011 5:20 pm

    The city obviously cares more about rich, church-going folks than bike safety. End of story. If it wasn’t the case, they’d be making bank off of parking tickets on the weekends.

    • November 21, 2011 1:31 am

      I think we should be grateful that we have a(n expanding) bike lane network to begin with.

    • Noah Webster permalink
      November 29, 2011 2:33 am

      I agree that this is a problem, but to suggest that it is ‘rich church going folks’ is an ignorant comment about a neighborhood you obviously know nothing about.

      Those churches are, in fact, where very poor people go. Society Hill was not filled with ‘rich’ people until the early 90’s. Many of the churchmembers are coming in from poor neighborhoods, and once lived in this neighborhood when it was desolate and destitute.

  8. November 21, 2011 1:29 am

    As a cyclist this doesn’t really bother me too much. First of all, it’s the weekend. Traffic in Center City is lighter and I’m probably not in a rush. Second of all, it’s a very minor inconvenience. Riding in the mixed traffic lane isn’t that big of a deal, at least for myself.

  9. southstreetphoto permalink
    November 21, 2011 5:05 am

    This is not a really good argument. They’re two different, unrelated subjects.

    If I had to categorize it, I’d say it’s a two wrongs fallacy. You clearly state that there are two different inconveniences going on, and if we assume that inconveniences are wrong and need to be addressed, then pointing out that one of them is receiving a little more attention than the other doesn’t make the other not an inconvenience.

    The people at occupy philly have been causing some wear and tear to the Plaza and have been acting aggressive towards people walking through, and assaulting people, due to the drug and alcohol use there. That’s how it was a week ago, at least. And that was before the eviction notice. Things may have improved but I’d need to spend more time there to be sure of it.

  10. November 21, 2011 6:29 am

    Street cleanup this weekend….everyone had to move their car to the other side if the street for the weekend so that the city could clean up the leaves….there were signs up like every 40 feet explaining this for about 5 square blocks.

    And beleive me, they are just as keen on ticketing in this part of town too….I speak from experience .

    • November 21, 2011 10:00 am

      Both sides had cars parked on them on every street though.

    • November 21, 2011 11:39 am

      Not to mention, as I said in the post and as other commenters have noted, I’ve seen this a MILLION times. Cars are always parked in the bike lanes on the weekends.

  11. November 28, 2011 4:53 pm

    From the age of 12-17 I rode a bike in NYC, there were some bike lanes, but generally there were no bike lanes.
    Yet, amazingly, I still live and breathe.

  12. Scott permalink
    November 28, 2011 10:25 pm

    The permits at Dilworth Plaza are expired, and those people knew going in that the day would come that they would have to leave, the parking thing does suck (it is allowed on weekends for church and other area events) but it is FAR different than the idiots outside city hall.

  13. Noah Webster permalink
    November 29, 2011 2:54 am

    So-with all of the complaining about this ‘violation’, can anyone show me what actual law they are violating? Meanwhile, what is the city doing to the 99% of bikers that violate this safety law every single day?

    § 12-809. Warning Devices and Brakes on Bicycles.
    (1) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.

  14. LJ Cook permalink
    February 24, 2019 7:13 am

    This is an old post, but it is still worthy of a response. I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, these houses of worship need parking, and are old enough to serve congregations that have largely moved to the suburbs. Without the financial support of those worshippers, these houses of worship will fold and be sold to developers and turned into condominiums. They are issued parking permits to distribute to congregants. As a cyclist, I have NO problem with using the single remaining travel lane two days a week. Others’ results may vary.

    On the other hand, what is annoying is that some of these suburbanites treat the privilege of parking for services as free parking for a family day trip to Center City. These people should be using public transit.

    The PPA should strictly enforce time limits and tow vehicles that do not display the proper permits on their dashboard as the law requires. They have the technology to do this. It’s how they enforce time limits on everyone else in the city. They should use it here.


  1. Oh, So That’s How You Spend 1.5 Million Dollars on Occupy Philly « Streets Dept

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