Philadelphia police warn parking
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[February 27, 2014]
By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Philadelphia
police are using a velvet hammer to crack down on the illegal but
widespread practice of saving parking spaces with furniture, toilets and
other items, by turning to a Twitter hashtag that warns #NoSavesies.
"Shoveling a spot from a public street does not make it yours,"
Sergeant Eric Gripp, who runs the Philadelphia Police Department's
Twitter account, told Reuters on Wednesday.
With the value of a no-cost street parking spot rising as quickly as
snowbanks this winter, northern cities including Boston, Chicago and
Baltimore are familiar with the problem.
Philadelphia is using social media to take the lead in raising
awareness that saving spots is illegal.
On the police department's twitter page, famed Philadelphian Ben
Franklin, the U.S. founding father known for saying "A penny saved
is a penny earned," is paraphrased in the service of parking peace:
"A parking spot saved is a lesson learned." Another tagline, with a
photo of Kanye West interrupting fellow singer Taylor Swift at a
music awards ceremony, says: "That's a nice excuse, and Ima let you
finish. But saving parking spots is still illegal."
This season's harsh weather and street-clogging piles of snow have
amplified the age-old battle over street parking, Gripp said.
"Since the advent of the automobile in Philadelphia, we've had
arguments over parking spots," he said.
Over the years, illicit tools used to claim spots have included
commandeered traffic cones, trash cans, lawn chairs and even a
working grandfather clock, Gripp said.
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"It was actually keeping time," Gripp.said.
Philadelphia's twitter campaign was started a month ago - with the
hashtag #NoSavesies - and immediately got traction, with many
residents retweeting the message they called an eye-opener.
"The most shocking is the number of that people that did not know
you couldn't do that," Gripp said.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg)
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