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December 27, 2016

Lancaster man won't pay parking ticket unless city accepts his bag of coins

It's a stance Philadelphians can understand

A Lancaster man is refusing to pay a $20 parking ticket unless the city accepts his payment in coins.

Alfredo Santiago, 34, told Lancaster Online that he was acting out of frustration when he took a bag a loose change to the city's treasurer's office after receiving the violation. The clerk refused to take his money. And now Santiago is refusing to pay in anything but coins.

"The lady didn't want to count it up, so she wouldn't take my ticket," he told the newspaper. "You can't refuse me just because you don't want to be inconvenienced."

The city agreed that coins are legal tender, but Director of Administrative Services Patrick Hopkins told the newspaper that it's "not the city's responsibility" to count out $20 in loose change.

It's a story to which countless Philadelphians can relate. How many of us haven't wanted to send a bag full of pennies to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, but ultimately decided to mail a check? Santiago actually did it.

What would that look like in Philadelphia? 

The standard violation for an expired meter in Center City runs $36. That's 3,600 pennies, which weigh just shy of 20 pounds. Which probably looks something like this:

To read more on Santiago's stand, or watch a video of his actions, click here.