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#TBT: America’s First Multi-Storey Parking Garage

Hotel Lasalle GarageNowadays if you’re parking in a city, you can’t turn a corner without seeing a parking garage, right?

Believe it or not, parking garages weren’t always a thing, especially during the early years of automobiles. That all changed in 1918 with the Hotel La Salle Garage in Chicago.

Considered the first multi-storey parking garage in the U.S., the Hotel La Salle Garage set the stage for off-street parking convenience.

The idea was simple: Provide customers with a conveniently safe place to park their cars as streets became too crowded with vehicles. At the time, this concept was unheard of, but that’s exactly what the owners of  Hotel La Salle did after hiring architects Holabird and Roche.

Sadly, after 87 years of service under its belt, the Hotel La Salle Garage was demolished in 2005. Attempts were made to preserve the garage as a landmark, but they never came to fruition.

Now let’s fast forward to 2016: Try turning a city corner without seeing a parking garage; you won’t have much luck. In fact,  some parking garages will even do all the parking for you!

So the next time you’re parking in a garage, remember that it all started with the Hotel La Salle Garage.

Psst: While you’re here, take a look at the discounts offered at our garages

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Parking Fails: Volume IX

Parking: Just like riding a bike or throwing a baseball, you either can do it well or you can’t do it at all. Whether it’s on the street, in a parking lot or garage, the shortfalls in parking are still alive and well, as you’ll see below. If you’ve missed our previous volumes, check them out here.

Parking Fail # 25Parking Fail # 1

No bad park job goes unpunished — at least not in this parking lot.

Let this be yet another reminder that the painted lines are there for a reason. And if you take up two parking spots in a grocery store parking lot, people tend to cleverly send a message.

 

 

Parking Fail # 26Parking Fail # 2

Okay, so there’s no way the driver knew this was going to happen, but it’s still a parking fail because, why not?

It figures. This guy parks in a garage to avoid the snow and ice, but that’s exactly what he got. Hopefully his defroster is up to snuff. Otherwise, he might have to use a flamethrower to wiggle his way out of there.

Also, where is this parking garage? At the top of Mount Everest?

 

Parking Fail # 27Parking Fail # 3

Good news, honey! I’ve converted our Ford Focus into a monorail!

At least that’s the only rationale we could think of for this one. Or maybe this guy was making a submittal for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept. Either way, this guy should just stick to driving on the road, which apparently he’s already having issues with.

Remember: If you see an illegally parked car in an area that we patrol, let us know by calling our communications line at 215-683-9775.

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#TBT: Back to North Philly

#TBT North Philly Neighborhood lot 2About a year ago, we went back to the 1990s to look at the groundbreaking ceremony of our North Philly neighborhood lot. We know: The black and white pictures make you think they’re from the ‘50s, but don’t be fooled.

Anyway, this month we’re taking another look at the groundbreaking ceremony, only this time around the attendees, which included State Representative Dwight Evans; PPA Chairman Herman Wooden; State Senator Alison Schwartz; and  former Mayor of Philadelphia Wilson Goode, got their hands dirty as they broke ground for the construction project.

After construction was complete at 7100 Ogontz Avenue, the lot served the surrounding business district for nearly five years before being redeveloped. Now, instead of parking, you can gas up your car at M & J Market.

Speaking of redevelopment, if you haven’t heard yet, we’re completely revamping our 8th & Filbert Garage. To take a look the progress, check out the Transformation Series.

Also, if you commute to Philly by car on a daily basis, make sure you’re in the know on our Early Bird parking specials and discounted garage rates!

Any questions? Let’s hear them on Twitter or Facebook!

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Guest Post: The Latest Distracted Driving Stats

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By: Fay Niselbaum

It only takes a single moment of inattention for a car accident to occur. Unfortunately, a society that is too busy has led to all too many people attempting to do other things while they’re behind the wheel. Simply reaching for something in the car can be a distraction, especially if you have to take your eyes off the wheel to do it.

Personal grooming, changing the station on the radio and other tasks all seem perfectly reasonable right up until they lead to accidents. Cell phones”, New York traffic offense attorney Zev Goldstein tells me, “unfortunately create an even more potent distraction: texting, making phone calls and surfing the web all pull drivers’ eyes off the road and cause serious problems and have reached epidemic levels in recent years”.

Texting and Driving: The Statistics

Six billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every day. Unfortunately, all too many of those are sent while the sender is operating a motor vehicle. While almost 90 percent of adults admit that they know texting and driving is dangerous, 49 percent admit to occasionally engaging in texting while driving.

Even more will use their cell phone while driving about 82 percent of adults between the ages of 25 and 39. Taking their eyes off of the road for even that brief period of time can be dangerous, especially with modern smart phones, which require the user to look down at the screen in order to dial. Unfortunately, the number of people surfing the web while driving is also increasing: in 2015, 29 percent of drivers admitted to using the internet while behind the wheel. As navigation apps have become more common, people have become more likely to check them while actively driving instead of pulling over.

Statistics by Age and Gender

Unfortunately, young drivers are more likely than their older peers to be distracted while behind the wheel of the car. When drivers under the age of 20 are involved in fatal crashes, 16 percent of them were reported to be distracted. Drivers under the age of 25 are also two to three times more likely to send emails and read and answer text messages.

When it comes to using phones and driving, women and men tend to view their distracted driving habits the same way. They’re equally likely to:

  •      Answer phone calls (a much more common activity than actively making phone calls)
  •      Check incoming text messages
  •      Send text messages

Women, however, are more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior like interacting with children in the back seat and taking care of personal grooming.

Distracted Driving: Accident Statistics

In 2015, nearly 2.3 million motor vehicle accidents leading to serious injury occurred between January and June alone. Nearly 19,000 people were killed in similar accidents.

Drivers on their cell phones are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers who aren’t distracted, and one in four car crashes involved a distracted driver on a cell phone.

That’s an incredible number of lives that could have been saved simply by people concentrating on driving while behind the wheel of a car.

In general, texting drivers take their eyes off of the road for about five seconds. Unfortunately, it’s only safe for a driver to look away for around two seconds.

Texting while driving is the new driving under the influence (DUI). Many states are cracking down on cell phone use while behind the wheel, insisting that drivers pay attention to the most critical task — driving — before turning back to their cell phones. These measures are aimed at preventing accidents and making the roads safer for everyone.

Note: Fay Niselbaum is a content specialist at The Law Office of Zev Goldstein PLLC. Fay loves cooking, blogging, and spending time with her family.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Andrea Rotter via Flickr

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Parking Fails: Volume VIII

With more than 200 million drivers on  the road in the U.S. alone, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll see a good amount of comedy on the road, or in these cases, off the road.

Parking Fail # 22Parking Fail # 1

Alright, so there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this park job. But this guy made the mistake of parking while having overly-clever friends with too much time on their hands.

Also: hopefully customers were shopping pretty lightly that day.


Parking Fail # 2

Parking Fail # 23Either the high tide was higher than normal that day, or the driver was just flat out stupid.

If the driver ever had a chance of saving his car and dignity, luckily it looks like they had a loyal group of friends lending a hand.

Just remember folks: If you’re going to a beach that has a parking lot, use it.

 

Parking Fail # 3

Parking Fail # 24

A+ for execution, F- for following directions.

Looks like the Tetris world champion has a challenger on their hands.  

Big question though: How’d they get out? If they took the Austin Powers route, that’s a hefty repair bill that’ll need to be paid to the other drivers.

 

Remember: If you see a parking fail in an area that we patrol, call our communications line at 215-683-9775 and we’ll send someone out to take a look!

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52nd Street Meter Mural Project

IMG_7408It’s no secret that Philadelphia has a robust art scene. Think about it: We have the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Barnes Foundation and let’s not forget the countless murals scattered throughout the city.

Now, if you head down to 52nd Street, you’ll notice a different kind of mural — meter murals that is.

Here’s the scoop: A few months ago The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation  (TEC-CDC) encouraged local artists, especially those with a West Philly connection (where 52nd Street is located), to give some old parking meters a much-needed facelift. After many proposals were submitted, 10 artists were chosen to spruce up the meters, and they didn’t disappoint.

Believe it or not, meter murals are becoming a thing in cities across the U.S. Most recently Dallas, TX and Wheeling, WV began sprucing up their parking meters, leaving parkers pleasantly surprised. We know: who’da thunk parking could be fun, right?

Anyway, let’s get back to 52nd Street.

Sure, sprucing up old parking meters is a cool idea, but for 52nd Street, it was more than that.

In an interview with PhillyVoice, Akeem Dixon, 52nd Street corridor manager for the TEC-CDC says, “Most importantly, this is a job creator. People will get paid for their artistic ability. This helps revitalize a community with an art installation, and it acts as a community engagement tool.”

Truer words have never been spoken. For more information on the great work done by  TEC-CDC, check out their website here, or give them a shout on Twitter.

PSST—by the way, ya still gotta feed these meters. 🙂

20151109_135619_resized (1) IMG_7367 IMG_7405 MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Photo Credit: MINDY CHRISTIAN/YORKARTS

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Charging Up at the PHL Airport

CHARGEPOINTDid you recently make the switch to an electric vehicle (EV)? Good news for ya: You can now charge up during your travels at our Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) parking facilitiesfor free!

Here’s the scoop: In late 2015 we installed seven EV charging stations down at the PHL. Each station can charge two vehicles, which means 14 EVs can be juiced up while you’re parked during your travels. Use of the charging stations is currently free of charge. Keep in mind though: normal parking rates will still apply. Check out below for their locations:

Garage C, Level 1 : 2 charging stations

Garage D, Level 1 : 2 charging stations

Economy Lot, Near Toll Booths : 3 charging stations

The charging stations are maintained and operated by ChargePoint, the world’s largest EV charging network. And to make things even more convenient, their mobile app lets you know when charging stations are available and where they’re located.

So if you’re an environmentally conscious frequent flyer, we’ve got you covered down at the PHL. Also, if you haven’t already, check out the various other tech advancements at the airport parking facilities here.     

Got questions? Get answers from our folks at airport customer service by calling 215-683-9840 or emailing airport@philapark.org. We can also field questions through Twitter and Facebook!

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Parking Fails: Volume VII

Welp, here we are in 2016 and being able to park still seems like a foreign concept for some drivers. But then again, let’s not forget that it still makes for some good comedy, especially when you consider the gems in this edition of Parking Fails.

 

Parking Fail # 19Parking Fail #1

Not sure what part of the lines this driver didn’t see…

The only explanation for this abysmal park job is that the driver was a frantic shopper during a Black Friday sale — and even that’s a stretch.

Seriously though, with a seemingly open parking lot, this guy decides to park in literally the only place where you’re not allowed. After retaking their driving test, maybe they should contact an optometrist, too.

 

Parking Fail # 20Parking Fail #2

Driver: You mean to tell me this isn’t a reasonable place to park?

Fireman: Nope.

Driver: Okay, good to know. Now, if you would be so kind, get me outta here!

Let this one be a reminder that Grand Theft Auto (the videogame) shouldn’t be replicated in real life.

 

Parking Fail # 21Parking Fail #3

We don’t know the origins of this picture, but apparently the zombie apocalypse has finally arrived, so brace yourselves.

Kidding aside: it’s unclear what’s going on here because this is the definition of a parking free-for-all. Good luck to the drivers who are stuck in the middle of the pack.

Spot a parking fail? Send it our way on Twitter or Facebook! And remember, if you see an illegally parked car in an area that we patrol, call our communications line at 215-683-9775 and we’ll send someone out.

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#TBT: The Quest for Pierre Robert’s Lost Glasses

pierre robertIf you take a cab on the regular, there’s a chance you may have forgotten something and thought to yourself, “What the heck am I going to do?!

We get it — it happens. Luckily the folks at our Taxi Lost and Found team can help get you reunited with your lost item, big or small.

A few years ago, Philly’s Pierre Robert from 93.3 WMMR lost his glasses in a cab.

Pierre Robert TweetJust like many others, Robert was left thinking, “Welp, there’s nothing I can do. They’re lost forever.” Luckily he caught wind that our Taxi Lost and Found doesn’t mess around with cab complaints or lost and found issues. See for yourself here.

After Robert spoke with Donna Kerwick, our in-house taxi detective, Robert’s glasses were found shortly after. Leading up to that, we’re sure Robert’s pals, Preston and Steve, were probably thinking this. FYI — it’s an inside joke if you’re not an avid listener of WMMR.

After being reunited with his glasses, Robert expressed his gratitude on social media AND invited Donna onto his show!

 

 

You get the point: If you lost something in a cab, we want to help! So if you ever find yourself in the same situation Robert was in, here’s what to do:

Gather as much of the following information as you can:

  • Cab P # (located on rear bumper or behind driver-side seat)
  • Description of the lost item
  • Pick-up location
  • Drop-off location
  • Last four digits of credit card (if you used one to pay the fare)
  • Your contact information (email and phone number)

Take the above information and send it to:

  • Our Taxi and Limousine Division at:

          OR

Once you send the information along, just sit tight for a little and someone will get in touch with you!

 

 

 

 

 

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PPA Off-Street Parking Service Awards

Service AwardsIf you’ve ever parked in one of our garages, there’s a good chance you’ve chatted with someone from our off-street parking team.

A few weeks ago, our Director of Off-Street Parking Operations, Rocco Morrotto (a.k.a. Rocky), handed out service awards to our dedicated staff. If you don’t remember Rocky, he’s the one that looks like Fredo Corleone in our #TBT from a few months ago.

Anyway, this year 16 awards were dished out, including one for 30 years of service (Congrats, Lisa Brown)!

Service Awards 2Along with being honored for their years of service, awardees were also treated to some munchies in the PPA Boardroom.

Following handing out the awards, Rocky (a.k.a. Fredo) mentions, “It’s great to do this sort of thing every year. My staff works hard day-in and day-out and it’s great to get together and recognize their hard work and years of dedicated service.

So without further ado, let’s start the slow-clap for:

Lisa Brown                         Deputy Manager                             30 years

Jean Schuck                       Site Coordinator                            10 years

James Moiyallah          Asst. Site Coordinator                       10 years

Willie McGeachy                     Cashier                                      10 years

Sal Lancellotti           Deputy Operations Manager                10 years

Brenda Williams     Customer Service Representative       10 years

Del Wech                          Operations Manager                        10 years

Jalanda Small           Customer Service Representative      10 years

Samia Muktar           Customer Service Representative      10 years

Ryan Cain                 Customer Service Representative        5 years

                                                                                                  Millie Sloan               Customer Service Representative        5 years

                                                                                                  Kelly Sickel                                 Secretary                                 5 years

                                                                                                  Yolanda Johnson             Asst. Site Coordinator                     5 years

                                                                                                 Olivia Hardiman-Soltis           Site Coordinator                         5 years

                                                                                                  Lonna Evans              Customer Service Representative      5 years

While you’re here, check out the other great work the PPA staff has been recognized for over the years here.

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