Back in 2009, City Council raised parking meter rates from $1 an hour to $2 an hour, spurred on by Rina Cutler, the Deputy Mayor for Transportation, and then from $2 to $2.50 in 2011 only for Center City. Some people snarked that the city just wanted money, since this issue popped up during budget season.
But while it's true that the City and the School District split all the PPA's net revenue, and the 50 cent rate increase for Center City did end up netting about $4 million more over the previous year's take, Cutler had a very good policy reason to support the meter rate hike - cutting the traffic caused by motorists circling for parking spaces, and clearing the streets for buses and delivery trucks.
Cutler told Melissa Dribben that the rate increase was supposed to free up some more vacant curb spaces, and nudge people who plan to be around for "longer than an hour or two" to park in a garage:
The political spectacle of the culture of retribution in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's office spilling out into the open is just too fun, but if there's a policy angle here, it's that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is basically pulling a Fort Lee on Philadelphia (and even more New Jerseyans) every day of the year.
The future of Philadelphia's economic growth depends on further shrinking the time distance between the two big rich metros to our north and south - New York City and Washington, DC.