Philly hates motorcycles


It’s full on fucking war with this broke-ass, motorcycle-hating city. As some of you may know, the PPA has begun enforcing motorcycle and scooter parking on the sidewalk, citywide! This means the old ways are dead and we have to bookend our bikes in between cars, take up a whole car space (which is totally economic), find one of their convenient motorcycle parking spaces (which still offers no way to secure your bike) or get yourself a $76 ticket for sidewalk parking. Personally, in the week since this has started, my stress level has gone through the roof. I’m fortunate enough to sit 15ft from my bike all day at the window of the studio and watch as cars maneuver into parallel parking spaces, sometimes tapping my bike. I’m really praying I have the patience to deal with someone the day they knock my bike down.

They’ve told Roland of Spare Parts they’re going to ticket his customer’s bikes, which he’s been parking on the sidewalk for 30 years. [Face to palm]

I could really rant for a full page on how this will escalate cycle/scooter theft and damage or my disdain for the PPA and how we should riot and start slashing their tires—but, I won’t. I will tell you the best we can do is call this number every fucking day to protest: Deputy Agent for Parking, PPA, Mrs. Jordan 215-683-9786. Just leave a message. Calling has worked in the past when the PPA has made irrational decisions.

As a backup plan, we could steal more car parking by signing this petition.

Print this shit out and hang it on your bike:

Please guys, take some action—Don’t wait until you have a stack of high-priced tickets or a cycle on it’s side to get angry.

This is fucking America and they’re taking our freedom!


57 responses to “Philly hates motorcycles”

  1. Carson says:

    WIlmington is a pretty bad town for motorcycles, riding and parking as well. I tend to park on the sidewalk as much as possible, especially considering most of my bikes are incredibly small in comparison to most of the monstrous harley baggers cruising around my town. I’ve been ticket multiple times and explained to the the people of the parking authority the situation i run into of having my bike nearly mauled by cars on a daily basis and they won’t cave. They suggest, “get a bigger bike, why don’t ya?” I’ll be damned if the next person that tells me that doesn’t get a big old backhanded dummy slap.

  2. Ben says:

    signed the petition and left a message.

  3. Ed says:

    Yea man, I’m dealing with the same shit at Drexel.
    All motorcycles park on the sidewalk a hair off of the actual borderline of campus. It’s been fine for years.
    Last week the ppa put notices on cycles saying they are enforcing soon…
    Nothing has happened yet, but… Shit, it sucks. I might just start riding my bicycle to work.
    ppa can suck it.

  4. Devyn says:

    Tickets are coming if you received warnings. At least they were courteous enough to hand out warnings this time. When I worked in center city, I got handed two $76 tickets before I knew what was going on.

    The warning I received reads, “To IMPROVE parking and driving in our City, the Philadelphia Parking Authority has revised local parking regulations and will begin enforcing them soon. Please cooperate to avoid a parking ticket.”

    Seriously! They’ve made parking worse. To add insult, these regulations are being enforced without any solid infrastructure—So, I’m going to park my bike 5 blocks away at a motorcycle-only meter, without a way to lock it up.

    Keep calling that number! If they win this, they’re going to ticket bicycles on sidewalks. After that, you won’t be able to walk on the sidewalk without a permit.

  5. Adam says:

    I really hope that Philly doesn’t keep going this direction with enforcing motorcycle rules like they do in NYC.

    I signed the petition and hope everyone else reading cott do as well.

  6. Anthony says:

    In addition to the petition and calling the PPA, people should follow up with their councilman or councilwoman to voice opposition.

  7. Tom says:

    I called the PPA number listed here today and talked to a person. I explained my dislike/disgust with the new law and whomever I was talking with said that she could not do anything about this and said I should call the city. Typical of the PPA she was not of any further help.

  8. Devyn says:

    @Tom. Just keep calling until Mrs. Jordan can’t take it anymore.

    Just as I was hanging that violation sign on my bike, a ppa dude pulled up in his car. He says, do you know you can’t park on the sidewalk anymore? I said, yeah, that’s what this big fucking sign is about. The guy loved it and told me to keep the complaints rolling.

  9. Brian says:

    It is obvious this is just another money grab by the PPA.

    The PPA webpage which provides the info for motorcycle/scooter parking directs riders to park in the established cycle parking spots. They even proclaim that the meter fee is “one-half the prevailing rate on the block.”

    The funny thing is, that there are four slots for motorcycle parking in these one car sized parking zones. I’m not very good at math, but it seems to me that we should only be paying one-quarter of the prevailing rate on the block. Please be sure to ask Ms. Jordan to double check my math.

  10. Lubes says:

    Day one of me trying a new spot in response to a PPA warning I got my bike was tipped over by a trash truck driver. Petition signed!

  11. Brian says:

    Anyone who has a bike knocked over while parked in a normal parking space, please file a police report even if there is no damage.

    Making the police waste their time on these minor incidents can only help to put pressure on the PPA to rethink their motorcycle parking edict.

    (Yeah, I know most of our bikes aren’t always properly registered/inspected and you probably don’t want to get involved with police. But if your bike is legit, do call the police)

  12. Patrick Huff says:

    I signed the petition and then called the number and Mrs. Jordan picked up. She asked me what I was calling in reference to so I told her and she said she had gotten a few messages already but thought it was a fluke. I told her about the petition and she told me that since this seems like a hot topic right now and people are becoming organized that she was going to bring the issue to the administration for discussion. She asked for my name and number and told me that she would be in touch with any new info. Seemed like a level headed person that was open to discussion on the issue. We shall see….

  13. Jessie Jay says:

    I think we should put together an awareness ride. Like critical Mass for Motorcycles.

  14. Mike Ashleigh says:

    Yeah, but instead of riding, take up a shitpile of parking spaces.

    You could call it ‘The Great Philadelphian Motorcycle Park-In of 2013’

    It seems retalitory, but if it was a large enough effort, alot of people would take notice and the cause would be vaild. The only problem is you’d still probably have to watch your bike the whole time.

  15. Devyn says:

    This sounds like a great idea. Maybe, City Hall sidewalk rally.

  16. I’ve been driving a bike in the city for over 9 years and have had zero problems. Yesterday, the local Chinese food owner yelled at me with tears in his eyes about the motorcycle parking issues he’s been having for the past 3 days. They were doing all their deliveries via scooter. Due to the extreme difficulty it looks like he’s closing down his delivery options. Meanwhile, I happened to be away on vacation while this happened. I received 3 tickets outside my apartment within 1 day.

  17. Ed says:

    Got my first ticket on the sidewalk today. I like to learn the hard way.

  18. JC says:

    any ideas for gathering somewhere on a thursday evening? maybe to flier cars? is it realistic to try to ride somewhere as a fairly large group of registered bikes with not-disruptively-loud exhausts? it would suck to wake a sleeping giant and start having New Hope style dB meter crackdowns. you know, we wouldn’t want organizational efforts to backfire. maybe a little popping on the overrun, but that’s all…


  19. Bub says:

    a few comments:

    1. cover your bike in front of your residence – it seems to keep them from ticketing

    2. the designated motorcycle spots are bullshit – I know of three in center city. I’m sure there’s more, but it doesn’t come close to what is needed

    3. I wonder if the bikes that are typically parked on the south sidewalk of city hall are affected. they are most likely owned by city workers, and i wonder if they get a free pass.

  20. Howard says:

    This means war. Time to organise and get politically involved.

  21. will says:

    this is some bulllshit… but on a side note, i was just admiring the shit outta your bike when i walked by it outside of the inner state draft house earlier

  22. andrew says:

    @ADAM — NYC? We just pull our plates here and its no problem. Think that could work in philly? Seriously all we do in NYC is pull our plates and its good to go. No way ticket a bike if there isn’t a plate and the PPA is to lazy to look for a VIN. Yea they could tow it, but that just doesn’t happen in nyc. PULL YOUR PLATES!!!!!!

  23. ed says:

    I’ve pulled my license plate once or twice in center city… but only when I’m away from the bike for like a half hour. I’m pretty sure the PPA is supposed to have your vehicle towed if there is no plate at all. I would imagine in philly they actually would indeed have it towed because they’re horrible pieces of shit.

    Has anyone had any experience with this or know anything about it… in philly?

  24. Ste says:

    Get on the phone, on the email, paper to pencil to your local council people. This is just ridiculous. The PPA has no idea what it’s doing when it comes to cars half the time already, and now they’ve decided their stupid pilot program was a ‘great success’ probably based on the 1 bike they’ve seen maybe parked there for like 5 minutes.

    Even the dumb meter setup was poorly done, car owners at least get the new meters, we get to carry around $8 in QUARTERS every day to use their stupid spaces.

    You hear like 3 stories every day of people being killed by cars every day. When did sidewalk bike parking ever get reported for killing someone??

  25. Adam says:

    @Andrew – apparently that loop hole in Nyc has changed and people are getting towed if they don’t have a plate on their bikes. This is something that just recently changed. I don’t think we have that same loop hole in Philly where they can’t do anything to your bike if it doesn’t have a plate.

  26. andrew says:

    @adam… hmm i haven’t heard about that, then again i haven’t been home much.

  27. John G says:

    Everything old is new again; about 8 years ago there was a war against motorcycles, scooters, and Philadelphia. In one week I racked up over $600.00 in parking tickets on my bikes. (this contributed to my starring role in the TV sensation; “Parking Wars.”)

    The sidewalk war is not a surprise, and you must consider some facts:

    1. Property Managers (kidspeak: the dudes who run the big shiny buildings) don’t like motorcycles on sidewalks near or around their buildings)

    2. The actual PPA laws state that as long as its ok with the property manager, a motorcycle can park on the sidewalk within the vicinity of the buildings

    3. PPA Agents are ill informed of some of the rules, and the rules are still not crystal clear (IE: the 7-11 near Suburban Station has, for at least the 11 years I’ve lived here, been a legal spot for the “flying motorized velocepide.”

    4. Getting angry and being defiant is nothing new here kiddos, and it doesnt work. The only way to get this resolved is to be calm, not cause trouble (remember, EVERYONE hates the PPA and you’re not special / different, regardless of what your mommy tells you)

    5. We need to round up the old troops (Scooters and Motorcycles / Mopeds) and form a coalition to increase the awareness that Philadelphia has in the sustainability of motorcycle ownership (IE: better fuel mileage, less congestion, etc..)

    Something has to give. In the meanwhile, there are PLENTY of designated motorcycle spots in Philadelphia. I should know; while you sit in your offices and rot, or sit at home collecting unemployment, I ride around all day and park all over the city in designated spots, NEVER getting a ticket.

  28. vince moffa says:

    The PPA told us the same thing at Manayunk Triumph. They even put their little yellow notes on our store bikes we display on the sidewalk. These bikes have no tags….but they can tow a vehicle for not having plates. It’s our customers that we’re worried about. They all park on the sidewalk against the building. We have no designated motorcycle spots on Main St. Is the actual rule about property owners giving permission to bikes parking on their sidewalk real??

  29. ed says:

    @John G
    You really have life figured out chief.
    I hope I’m as successful as you someday.

  30. ed says:

    ps… love ya john

  31. Sherrilyn says:

    You are my new hero, Devan.

  32. Tom says:

    If we want to keep the pressure on the PPA, maybe we start contacting the local news outlets. As per John G, getting pissed off and screaming isn’t really going to do much and most likely make us all look bad. But being professional and getting the local media involved by pointing out how this effects local businesses and homeowners (can we not park our own bikes in front of our own houses anymore?) and that starts to make for a better story that one of those investigative teams might pick up and do a story about. The more coverage the better!

  33. Devyn says:

    @will thanks dude. It was $1 taco night.

  34. Devyn says:

    There are a lot of spots through the commercial district. They’ve done a pretty decent job putting them on every block. The issue we need to stay on track about, are the people who live in the residential sections, getting tickets in front of their own home. And then, how do we make safe overnight parking in the commercial districts?

  35. Devyn says:

    PRINT THESE! One printable pdf. The big one is 13×19 and the small one has (4) on 8.5×11. Grab them here: Take em to your local printer, punch a hole in the top-middle of the big sign and hang somewhere on your bike.

  36. Jim says:


    Agreed. It definitely couldn’t hurt to reach out to Philly Weekly, City Paper, Metro, Inquirer/Daily News, NPR -WHYY….

    Doesn’t Fox News have one of those Hotlines you can call to complain about Municipal BS, i.e. “THESE POTHOLES HAVE BEEN HERE FOR MONTHS! MAYOR NUTTER DOESN’T CARE ABOUT US, WHAT AN OUTRAGE, etc…..”

    Per Fox29’s website:

    “News Story Ideas or Proposals

    To pitch a story idea for the FOX 29 News, send a press release and/or press package to “Producer” at the show for which you’re proposing the story idea. Be sure to include the facts about the story, descriptions of visual elements, a rationale for WHY the proposed idea would make a good story and possible guests/interview subjects for the story. Be sure to include the name and telephone number of a contact person so that we may get additional information if necessary.

    To submit the information by mail, send it to the attention of “Producer” and the show title, at the station address. To submit via fax, send it to 215-982-5494 or email the information to”

  37. Devyn says:

    This is great, Jim. Let’s get our ducks in a row, meaning, these stories we’ve been hearing about—Let’s get the facts, the names of the people, etc.

    William Stallwood commented on here about the delivery guy cutting delivery service. Who is that guy and where is his restaurant? Anyone know of damaged bikes getting hit by cars, like Lubes story above. Local business owners of Spare Parts and Manayunk Triumph being harassed.

    Then, we can go onto to tell how ill-conceived the parking alternative has been—$8 worth of quarters everyday; paper tickets from the kiosks getting taken off our bikes; no ability to lock and deter theft, etc.

    Now, what stance do we take on alternatives—Fight to go back on sidewalks? Permits to park on sidewalks, like the scooter organization is fighting for. Lobby for a return to sidewalk parking until parking with barriers are put in place on every block.

    And then tell me this, who is the opposition? The PPA is enforcing, but the city is telling them to do so. So WHO is pulling those strings?

    Alright team, break!

  38. […] originally post on Chin on the Tank […]

  39. PhillyRider says:

    As someone who parks on the sidewalk every day outside my house, and
    who uses a paid garage at work due to tickets from sidewalk parking,
    I’d like to introduce some actual facts about the question of motorcycle
    parking on the sidewalk:

    Operating a motor vehicle on the sidewalk is illegal.

    Parking a motor vehicle on the sidewalk is illegal.

    City Code _12-913. Prohibitions in Specified Places

    (1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other
    traffic or to protect the safety of any person or vehicle or
    in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or
    official traffic-control device, no person shall:

    (a) Stop, stand or park a vehicle:


    (ii) On a sidewalk except that a bicycle may be parked
    as provided in Section 12-807.

    Note that those are city and state laws, not PPA “rules”. The PPA may
    choose not to enforce them, but that doesn’t mean that sidewalk parking
    is legal anywhere, and it doesn’t mean that the PPA makes the rules.

    Any consideration that the PPA gives to the building owner or rider (about whether or not to issue tickets) is merely a courtesy, and is unofficial.

    Since sidewalk parking is clearly illegal, think carefully about what to ask

    * Does it make sense to ask the PPA not to enforce the law? Sure, that
    would be nice on a short-term basis, but there’s no guarantee
    that their enforcement policy won’t change again.

    * Does it make sense to ask for more MC/scooter parking (everywhere,
    not just center city)? For me, if the parking isn’t secure
    (some kind of metal hoop in the ground or a pole to which I can
    chain my bike) I don’t want to use it.

    * Does it make sense to lobby the city and state to change the law
    regarding sidewalk parking. I think this has a vanishingly low
    chance of success, and would require a lot of effort and re$ource$.

    Personally, I like the idea of getting together a lot of riders and parking (legally) in car spaces, parallel to the curb, while paying the meter or kiosk. Think of the protests in New Hope a few years ago…. Instead of fighting the PPA alone and having car drivers think that we’re getting away with something by sidewalk parking, get the car drivers on our side by making it clear that MC sidewalk parking benefits them by freeing up parking spaces. Get the “other 90%” of people who are parking (cars) to lobby for us!

  40. shank-daddy says:

    All valid points above, however, I don’t think the area immediately next to a building is always a sidewalk. Sometimes it may be an easement and as such is private property and the PPA has no right to enforce anything on private property unless the owner complains.

    I will try to google the official State of PA definition of sidewalk and see what I can find.

  41. PPAwatch says:

    Fed up with the PPA? Help us by sending photos of them parked illegally themselves to @PPAwatch on Twitter.

  42. chance says:

    i fought one of these tickets last year. i was in chinatown, i parked next to singapore with the owners permission. i even seen a ppa minion and asked if this was ok. she replied “yeah no problem here”.

    before i left my house for the evening i read up on the ppa motorcycle parking policy and it declared, no parking on the sidewalk with in center city limits, which was something like south to market and broad to 25th. that leads you to believe that it is alright to park outside of these limits.

    ok so i received a ticket. i appealed. the “judge” informed me that philadelphia code prohibits all vehicles from parking on the sidewalk. i couldnt argue that. but i appealed, to bring attention to the fact that there is no option for any motorcyclist to park. and hopefully drive my point clearly enough to gain sympathy from the person hearing my appeal.

    My point were these 3 things,

    why is the website suggesting that it is, without infraction, ok to park on the sidewalk outside of center city limits and does NOT declare it to be against code to park on the sidewalk anywhere in philadelphia.

    why do the ppa “officers” not know the law and seem to make it up as they go. (ive asked 30 workers and they all said it was alright to park on the sidewalk outside of center city limits)

    what do you expect people to do? print out one of those tiny tickets and try to wedge it somewhere on the bike and hope that one of 3 things happens,

    -the ppa officer actually sees it, because their is not set place to put it on a motorcycle,in contrast to, a car, where it is to be place on the dash near the driver side window.


    -somebody doesnt just take it and use it for themselves, or just because they are jerks.

    the response i got was, you are supposed to get a ticket and put it in your pocket and when you get a ticket, contest it, with the ticket being your proof.

    WOW! they expect you to take 4 hours out of your day(thats how long i was there) to contest a ticket every time you want to patronize business around center city. thats absurd and thats no incentive to give your business around the city which generates revenue through taxes which the city seems to be needing these days shutting down schools and all…..

    i appealed this decision, this time i had the option of showing up or mailing in my appeal. I mailed in 2 pages of basically what i said here, and i got a letter back, stating that i did not operate within philadelphia traffic code there for i am liable to pay the ticket and that i could not contest the ticket again.

    i dont think the point to be made should be, theres no place to securely lock your bike from theft. theres no place to securely lock it on the sidewalk either.

    i think the point should be made that THERE IS NO OPTION,
    besides special parking spaces in center city, but what do you do when those few spaces are filled? ITS A FLAWED SYSTEM and that should be the focal point of the argument. not that your shit can get stolen or damaged. that can happen anywhere anytime regardless of parking it on a sidewalk or anywhere.

    in response to the last comment:
    do you think ppa officers will differentiate the sidewalk from a sliver of concrete next to a building? i dont think so. you will get a ticket and you will not spend 4 hrs contesting it to have it possibly be thrown out.

    thats my story,
    peace yo and im out.

  43. Greatjobdan says:

    I left the bitch a dirty message. Fuck it lets go to the casino!

  44. Adam Z says:

    When I went to college in San Diego, we had a similar problem on campus. We printed out a few hundred flyers, and about fifty of us parked in one car space apiece, stayed with our bikes handing out the flyers for half a day.

    Granted, campus cops are a lot more likely to give in to public pressure than the PPA, but it is worth a try. And it took a smaller number of us to take up a quarter of the good spots. Center City is crowded enough that losing 50 or 100 parking spaces for a few critical hours could get attention & news coverage.

    Write the flyers carefully, and be polite. Tell drivers trolling for parking that you are following the new stupid law, and need their help or else it will become a permanent problem for everyone. Print LOTS of flyers.

  45. ludwig says:

    because of this I’ve decided that I’m leaving town. This is the last straw. Philly be damned!

  46. Devyn says:

    Elizabeth from WHYY, who interviewed me earlier, informed me the PPA is temporarily relaxing ticketing in residential areas, but still enforcing in commercial areas. What outlines those areas, I can only guess—We all know it depends on what PPA agent is walking the street. Although this is only addressing scooters, Councilman Mark Squilla is on the side of two-wheeled riders and has been been a major help:

  47. Jim says:

    Devyn, did she say when/if your interview would be broadcast?

  48. Devyn says:

    Monday morning, WHYY 90.5FM. I think there will be a link of the broadcast. Roland from spare parts was interviewed, too. Hopefully he wasn’t out as late as I was the night before and one of us sounds coherent.

  49. Ben says:

    @devyn- WHYY is 90.9

    Can’t wait to hear you harangue through your hangover!

  50. Lubes says:

    Mark your calendars: PPA Board Meetings to be held Monday, November 25th and Monday, December 23rd at 11:30 AM in the Executive Office Board Room of the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s headquarters, located on the second floor of 701 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Those who can need to voice our concerns directly with the PPA.

  51. Ben says:

    Who wants to ride to the meeting?

  52. whatever says:

    your mock VIOLATION note is not going to catch a car driver’s attention. if anything, they’ll be glad that you appear to have a ticket for parking in place of their precious oil drinking kill box.
    if you want automobile drivers’ support to allow motorcycles and scooters to park on the sidewalk and take up bicycle parking spots, i would advise a different approach.
    also, as a bicyclist, i find that most people on two motorized wheels are no better than those on four. so, y’know, suck it and i hope you die.

  53. Devyn says:

    Hey douche, the signs work very well. I’ve watched the reactions of people these past 2 weeks from my window at work. Your right, they think I have a ticket for taking a space (that’s the point), then they actually read it. That number has been flooded with calls.

    Most of us here on this site ride bicycles and understand how to RIDE safely in this city, whether on a bicycle or a motorcycle. I personally always view bicyclists as the same on the road.

    Grow the fuck up.

  54. ed says:

    Wow. I just laughed out loud.
    Your comment does nothing but illustrate how much of a loser you are.

  55. nicks says:

    I might know someone at one of the local TV news stations that could do a little story. Who at COTT should I put them in touch with if they wanted to interview someone?

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