A Howl! For Assuming Everyone Hates the PPA (Sure, They Probably Do … But How About Reporting That?).

Melissa Dribben’s Inquirer feature about the public’s distain for our new parking meters has a promising headline but never really delivers.

According to her, the city is fed up with the new credit card reading meters and, as a result, the Philadelphia Parking Authority. I’d never suggest that Philadelphians aren’t PPA haters, but those two dots are never connected in a way that correlates them

She speaks with Linda Miller, the PPA spokesperson.

Miller says, “We’ve sold $1.5 million and have only had 200 complaints.” Doesn’t sound so bad to me.

This is counterbalanced by, I assume, upset people Dribben spoke with on the street and the plight of a 60 year-old woman who couldn’t get the meter to work for her. When’s the last time a 60 year-old couldn’t get new technology to work? I was expecting more compelling evidence.

The second half of the story basically talks about how much people dislike the PPA by taking a look at some of the horrible things that go in inside their office. Other than some pretty shocking quotes that fine-payers have said to employees, such as telling a pregnant employee, “I hope your baby dies,” this seems fairly average for any town that doesn’t give away parking for free.  It’s definitely not caused by the new meters.

The story suffers from not having any solid information to stand on. It assumes that most people are upset about the difficulty of using them.

– Brendan McNamara

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