July 15, 2016
The practice of parking on the median in South Philadelphia will remain illegal but the ban will actually be enforced during the Democratic National Convention, the Mayor's Office announced on Friday.
Enforcement will focus on South Broad Street between Washington and Packer Avenues, beginning on Sunday, July 24 and ending on Friday, July 29.
Protest groups are expected to march down South Broad Street toward the convention venue at the Wells Fargo Center.
Enforcing the parking ban will help ensure the safety of the protesters and police officers, city officials said.
Residents are encouraged to check street signs for temporary parking restrictions.
Parking on the median on South Broad Street, double parking in South Philly and parking vehicles in any place large enough to hold them has long been the norm for decades.
Murray Dubin, a former Inquirer reporter, attempted to explain the phenomenon to Newsworks back in 2010:
"I was a kid in the 1950s, and back then there were cars parking in the middle of Broad Street. My parents didn't own a car so it was not a part of South Philadelphia life that had impact on my life.
"But I knew then, and know now, that where I lived parking was always neighborhood -- not city government -- driven. I grew up on Wolf Street near Fifth, and there was no double parking on the street because there were no large commercial enterprises except for small grocery and candy stores at the corners. But on the 1400 block of Porter or the 1500 block of Shunk or the 1000 block of Wolf or on dozens of others streets, restaurants and bars on corners and mid-block drew customers with cars in the same way that Mummers attract glitter. And those cars had nowhere to park because South Philadelphia row houses had no garages.
"So those cars began double parking on the street. Then residents, not wanting to be blocked in, began doing the same thing and it has now become the norm."
The view down South Broad Street on Google Maps captures hundreds of vehicles parking on the median in June 2015:
Owners of towed vehicles are advised to call (215) 686-SNOW to locate their vehicle.