Any city bike rider has run up against cars and trucks parked or double-parked in bike lakes all over town. It happens all the time. But now, the ever-vigilant Philadelphia Parking Authority says it will keep an eye on this issue using Twitter.
The Parking Authority announced this effort, developed after conversations with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in a blog post Wednesday. PPA’s goal is to use the tweets to “identify chronic problem areas and make plans for the future.” So PPA's attention won't necessarily result in tickets for those scofflaw vehicles, just like every red light blowing cyclist won’t be ticketed, but it will allow PPA to track patterns. Maybe that can lead to better enforcement down the road.
As the Bicycle Coalition noted on its blog, PPA's monitoring will not extend to weekend parking in the Spruce and Pine bike lanes which is supposed to be tied to the religious institutions along those streets.
The Bicycle Coalition’s post also has a very helpful review of the laws on the books: Remember that double parking (as in a lane next to parked cars) or parking (in a curbside lane) in bike lanes illegal, but loading/unloading is permitted. Plus, commercial vehicles are given a bonus 20 minutes to finish up their work after loading/unloading. That can be tricky to track.