Metro: Philly Parking Authority hate ahead of “Parking Wars” season three

Metro: Rikard Larma
Metro: Rikard Larma

In today’s Metro-Philadelphia, I covered the always vitriolic response to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, ahead of next week’s debut of the third season of “Parking Wars,” though I’ll have a more directly related piece next week.

Clarence Shippen Jr. keeps watch outside his office at 8th and Locust streets.

Read the rest here.

Below check some quotations that didn’t make it into the piece.

I asked Linda Miller, PPA spokeswoman, about some criticism that the “Parking Wars” show puts a bad image of Philadelphia out nationally and about the general negative perception many have about the PPA.

  • “Sometimes we forget that the people who have a problem [with the PPA] are people who broke the law.”
  • “If you don’t want a ticket, don’t break the law.”
  • “The reason we were first interested in doing the show was to basically let folks see what takes place on the daily basis of having this very difficult job. I think that has done very well.”
  • “It has helped with morale. They can relate to someone, with people on the street. It brought a human side to it. It brought national attention to the Parking Authority, and I think that helps a lot.”
  • “People have reached out and said, ‘Hey we saw what you do there with the booting, that’s something different, how does that work?”
  • Are there some bad things that occur on the show? Yes, but we’ve been pleased.
  • “We’re just enforcing the laws that are there. It’s nothing we’ve created.
  • “If somebody gets a parking ticket, they didn’t get that parking ticket because they parked legally.”

My PPA package included some data about salaries and parking violations, which I got from the agency after submitting a right to know form. It took a week to get the data.

I found Clarence Shippen, who co-founded an anti-PPA group in jest with some co-workers, on Facebook, a great tool for journalists trying to find sources.

  • A good deal of the anger against the PPA is warranted. I don’t think it’s the line staff, like the meter attendants, to blame. It’s the fact, the way in which they have to do their jobs. Really part of the reason people don’t like to come to town is the parking authority. It’s bad for the city. Parking isn’t a pleasant experience.
  • Shippen may have started a group about the PPA, but that interest doesn’t translate into any desire to watch “Parking Wars.” “There are better things to watch on TV than people getting tickets. That would stress me out. I watch TV for information and entertainment, and I don’t think I get any out of any show about the parking authority.”

Below watch a promotional video from the first episode of the first season of “Parking Wars.”