“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. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  2. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  3. photo: Former HUD secretary Julián Castro
    Equity

    How to Head Off a Coronavirus Housing Crisis

    Former HUD secretary and presidential candidate Julián Castro has ideas for state and federal leaders on protecting vulnerable renters from a housing disaster.

  4. photo: 1900 Chinatown fire in Honolulu
    Coronavirus

    The ‘Chinese Flu’ Is Part of a Long History of Racializing Disease

    During a plague outbreak in 1899, officials in Honolulu quarantined and burned the city’s Chinatown. Some Covid-19 talk today echoes their rhetoric.

  5. Coronavirus

    Black Businesses Left Behind in Covid-19 Relief

    The latest U.S. coronavirus aid package promises a partial and uneven economic recovery that leaves behind the African American community.

×