Baltimore No Longer Number One on My Personal List of Least Favorite Parking Cities!

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Wanna hear about my first world problem?

I love Philadelphia. The music and poetry scenes, the food, the people: all great. Great, great, great! But their parking signs are downright devious. I know I complained recently about Baltimore’s Muni-Meters. I take it back. Philadelphia’s are far worse.

Last night a friend and I drove to Philadelphia for a poetry reading. And we hunted for parking. (I know — this part of the story is boring, just wait!) We found a three-hour spot and parked. We came back to the car and found a parking ticket. Gasp! Unbeknownst to us, we were in a pay spot!

The sign we parked at was very similar to, but not exactly like, the sign pictured above — there was no handicap parking, so the information on the left took up the majority of the sign.

Now, you might look at this sign and say, “But Bob, it says you have to pay right at the bottom.” Well to you I would say, I didn’t read all the way to the bottom. I stopped at “3 HOUR PARKING / 4- 10 PM / MON – FRI!” I assumed that stupid writing at the stupid bottom said something like, “PHILADELPHIA PARKING AUTHORITY” or “GO EAGLES!” or “BE SURE TO TRY A CHEESESTEAK WHILE YOU’RE IN TOWN.” (And by the way, the perspective on this photograph exaggerates the relative size of those words.)

Where I’m from, we don’t pack a filibuster-length list of information on a sign and then hide the most important bit at the end. We just write “PAY TO PARK!”

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  1. I was in Philly Sunday and gave up trying to figure out the parking signs and used a garage (defeat!). Also got a $77 parking ticket in Canton Saturday nite on my daughter’s Fiat 500, a car purchased specially for it’s magical parking karma (it’s very small). Today I am walking….

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