“Parkadelphia” is pretty—and powerful.

Lauren Ancona’s dive into cartography started with what she calls her “weird obsession” with parking—specifically, the lack of information about parking regulations in Philadelphia. She explains in a Medium blog post:

I’d search once a year, at least, usually while apartment hunting. What are the parking rules on this street? Most often, I was looking for a map of residential parking permit zones. Google Trends said I wasn’t alone, but I couldn’t find so much as a jpeg. Nada.

That’s what spurred her to make her first map ever in 2014, which showed the residential parking permit zones in her city. From there, she went on to make a beautiful blueprint map of Philly, as well as a map showing blocked roads, transit closures, and other useful information during the pope’s visit last September. But all this time, she never really stopped working on the parking map that started it all.

Now, after 17 months of gathering public data and manually verifying bits and pieces of information, Ancona has finally released her new and improved ‘Parkadelphia’ map. This one doesn’t just show residential parking zones, but also metered spots for cars, motorcycles and scooters, city parking lots, locations where valet parking is offered, and the emergency routes in the city.

On the map below, you can select any or all of these layers of data from the sidebar on the left, and click on a street you’re curious about. The map will then pull up the parking rules:

The nifty tool also lets you check out any spot in the city you’re interested in. For example, here’s what the parking regs around 30th Street Station (the building with the little yellow dot in the center) look like:

And this is what parking on a street near City Hall looks like:

The map isn’t comprehensive. Ancona is still verifying parking rules for some of the streets. She’s also working on a new feature that would map the most “in-demand” parking spots, the ones users search most often, in real time. It would look a bit like this heat map below that she shared:

She hopes the new feature will help plan the future of the city, she told CityLab via email:

This information can help city planners and other constituencies have an informed conversation when making decisions that affect how Philadelphia chooses to encourage or discourage the use of automobiles in future development.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  2. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  3. Equity

    Why I Found My Community in a Starbucks

    I was reluctant to support a corporate chain. But in my neighborhood, it’s one of the only places I could have formed a relationship with someone like Sammy.

  4. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  5. A map of apartment searches in the U.S.
    Maps

    Where America’s Renters Want to Move Next

    A new report that tracks apartment searches between U.S. cities reveals the moving aspirations of a certain set of renters.

×