Traffic congestion bill to be reintroduced in next City Council term

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Council passed more than 80 bills on the final day of its term this month, but there were a few it left on the table. Among them, a bill aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Center City. 

Councilman Mark Squilla tried to get the legislation through in the current term, but failed. The bill would have increased penalties for parking violations such as blocking the highway or disobeying "no stopping" signs. 

At a hearing in June, Philadelphia Parking Authority Executive Director Scott Petri testified that that it was aimed at delivery truck and ride share drivers. He said delivery drivers consider parking tickets the cost of doing business and stop wherever it's convenient for them without considering drivers behind them.

"Drivers need to understand that these violations are contributors to the traffic congestion and the cost of idling and searching for parking is borne by everyone," testified Petri. 

But some council members were reluctant to raise penalties. Squilla believes they misunderstood the bill's intention so he plans to reintroduce the measure in the new term, with a more comprehensive set of bills.

Squilla said he'll try again in the new term, with a more comprehensive set of bills.

"We decided, instead of rushing just part of it through, let's look at how we deal with congestion as a big picture," Squilla explained. "I think if we come together with a full packet of how we're going to deal with congestion, then it will make more sense to some of the members of council."