Parking regs. block students

Residents petition to require permits to park on certain blocks off-campus.

A change in parking regulations on certain blocks off-campus has created headaches for student drivers in another sign of the conflicting relations of student renters and local residents.

Two-hour parking limitations without a residential permit have been put in place to many of the streets surrounding the university as a result of petitions signed by the streets’ permanent residents. The Philadelphia Parking Authority would not disclose information on the locations of permit restrictions

In order to successfully petition for a residential permit requirement, residents must go to the Philadelphia Parking Authority and gather signatures from 70 percent of the block’s permanent residents, Marty O’Rourke, a spokesperson for the parking authority, said. After gaining enough signatories, residents must then have their request signed by their City Council representative.

City Council President Darrell Clarke’s office, whose Fifth District includes Temple’s Main Campus and the North Central District where a large portion of students live, declined to comment for this story.

While the process takes into account the wishes of a block’s permanent residents, students who rent apartments or houses in short-term periods often find their input left out.

“There’s issues with the residential parking permits because your car has to be registered at that address and your driver’s license has to be at that address,” O’Rourke said.

Junior French major Chelsea Robinson said the change in regulations in areas west of campus represents the ever-present cultural rift between local residents and students.

“I see why they do it,” she said. “They feel like their home has been overrun by rowdy college kids.”

Senior advertising major Drew Carfara said that while they are in the interests of the community, parking permits put students in a difficult spot between finding off-campus and on-campus lots.

“I think the parking permits are necessary. That being said, the university could do a better job providing more parking options for students,” he said

Robinson said the university’s parking fees are overpriced and beyond the average student’s budget, often forcing them to find parking elsewhere.

“No college student has [hundreds of dollars] lying around, and I know I definitely don’t want to ask my parents for it,” Robinson said of the rates.

Robinson, like many other students, found that her only option for parking has become the streets much further from Main Campus and its surrounding areas. She said she has had to park her vehicle as far away as 19th and Diamond streets.

“It’s frustrating when I have to park so far away that I feel my safety and the security of my car is being compromised,” she said.

At the beginning of the school year, Temple lowered parking rates for students and faculty from $360 per semester to $240. The change came after the university finished construction on the parking garage on Montgomery Avenue, a four-floor facility.

The university said the decision to lower on-campus parking rates was made to discourage students from parking in the already crowded streets off-campus.

“We wanted to do what we could to reduce [costs for student parking] and at the same time be good neighbors,” Rich Rummer, the associate vice president for business services told The Temple News in September.

In addition to the regulations, some students have also said police in the 22nd District moved their cars to far away spots after a day of construction notices.

Kelsey Dubinsky, a junior photojournalism major said her car was moved by police from Montgomery in between 17th and Willington streets,  to a new spot on 22nd and Montgomery streets.

“They were really rude” Dubinsky said. “They said it was our fault because the signs were up, but they didn’t give most students enought time.”

Dubinsky said she and another student were told that their cars would be parked within a four block radius, but when she searched it wasn’t there. Police then gave her a number to call and told her they didn’t have their own records, she said.

Dubinsky said she doesn’t know how her car was moved, but said police told her it was done so because they were placing a plaque for a fallen officer in front of the station along Montgomery Street.

A spokeswoman for the 22nd District said PPA moved cars only if they were parked in construction zones, but declined to give further details.

Cindy Stansbury can be reached at 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelsey Dubinsky has previously contributed to The Temple News as a photographer. She took no part in the editorial process of this article.

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