According to representatives of Mayor Nutter’s administration, the ease of contesting a parking ticket online is creating too many open cases and creating back up within the traffic court resulting in long waits and poor customer service.
The city, despite the thousands of tickets issued by the PPA daily, cannot afford to hire more staff to address the growing number of appeals and complaints. “We believe there should be some threshold of commitment in order to contest a ticket. If people have to do nothing but send it in, frivolous appeals could outweigh our ability to deal with legitimate appeals,” Director of the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication Jeremiah Connors said. “We’re overwhelmed as it is. Anything we would do that would increase the volume of hearings, we would have to add staff.”
Perhaps if there is a growing number of problems caused by the ticketing system and the Philadelphia Parking Authority as a whole, the problem is not the ease of appealing to the tickets, but the system itself. By not allowing an appeal system, the PPA would be one step above the law in its ability to fine the public anything it desires and/or confiscate private property in the form of booting and impounding cars. So, there obviously needs to be an appeal system, and hopefully the City Council and the PPA will work together to streamline the appeal process so that it requires less in person court hearings.
You can even Tweet your obvious response to how appealing your parking tickets online vs. going into a court hearing would be helpful to Bill Green’s (a city councilman) Twitter page. Many Philadelphians have wasted entire days and had to take off from work to appear in traffic court, so, yes, an online appeal system would be helpful. Also, if the PPA has wrongfully ticketed or stolen from a person, of course they should be able to easily acquire their property back. Perhaps an easier appeal process would also loosen the ever-tightening grip the PPA has on drivers in Philadelphia — and maybe lead us into a future of more transparency within the system. We can only hope, but until then, let the parking wars rage on!