Reading PennsylvaniaCity of Reading, Pennsylvania

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

PUBLIC SAFETY VIOLATIONS IMPACT THE SAFETY OF DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS,
WHICH IS WHY THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST FINES OF ALL VIOLATIONS: $100.

Double parking causes other vehicles to make quick lane changes—potentially crossing into oncoming traffic—and reducing sightlines for other drivers and pedestrians.

Parking within 15′ of a fire hydrant can cause serious injury or even death as well as property damage when it impedes fire department activity.

Parking within an intersection limits sightlines for pedestrians and drivers trying to cross or turn onto another street

Parking in a crosswalk forces pedestrians to walk in the path of traffic.

There’s nowhere to park. What am I supposed to do?

Garages

2nd & Washington – $30
4th & Cherry – $25
Chiarelli Plaza – $25
DoubleTree – $39
Front & Washington – $25
Poplar & Walnut – $39
Reed & Court – $39
South Penn – $39
Surface Lots
4th & Pine – $23
10th & Penn – $50
7th & Washington – $39
300 Cherry – $70
423 Schuylkill Ave. – $50

TO DATE, RPA HAS COMMITTED $3M TO CREATE ADDITIONAL OFF-STREET PARKING THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

The Citywide Parking Relief (CPR) initiative is using those funds to purchase unused lots of all sizes that can be used for future residential parking. RPA then makes any necessary improvements and offers permitted, off-street parking to residents at affordable rates.

The first CPR property is a micro lot located at 423 Schuylkill Ave. The lot has seven spaces and began leasing to neighborhood residents in September 2021.

Own or manage a parking lot or vacant lot in the City and need enforcement? Contact the Director of Operations at 610-655-6166 x1216.

Please review the steps below to submit an appeal.

  1. Visit the RPA website: https://readingparking.com/violation-appeal-process/
  2. Scroll to “Click here to file an appeal” at the bottom of the page
  3. Click “Click Here” button
  4. You will be directed to the Reading Parking Authority Citizen Connect portal (Direct link: https://www.tocite.net/readingpa/Portal)
  5. Click “Search Tickets”
  6. Enter the ticket number or the plate number of the vehicle that received the ticket
  7. Click “Search”
  8. Click “Dispute” (Found on the right hand side of the screen under the amount due)
  9. Click “Continue as Guest”
  10. Complete the online appeal form
  11. Click “Add Attachments” to provide supporting documentation (e.g. photos, proof of address, etc.)
  12. When you have provided all the information you want to submit in support of the appeal, click “Submit Dispute”.

The other option is to visit our office to file the appeal in person with one of our customer service clerks. Our administrative office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:45 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Please contact our Parking Enforcement Sergeant at 484-516-1963 via call or text at the time you see the violation in progress to report the issue. The Sergeant will then dispatch a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) to your location.

The city parking ordinance states that a vehicle may be parked on a public street for a maximum of 72 hours without moving.

After 72 hours without moving, the vehicle is considered to be “stored” on the street and can be ticketed. The vehicle can be ticketed every 24 hours thereafter and may be towed after three tickets have been issued.

A Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) will first “chalk the car for storage,” which means they will mark the tire and then return 72 hours later to see if the vehicle has moved. If it has not, the officer will issue the first parking violation.

The PEO can then issue a ticket every 24 hours if the car remains parked without moving until a total of three tickets have been issued and the car can be towed.

You might find helpful information in City Codes Chapter 564 – VEHICLE NUISANCES, STORAGE OF
https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/readingpa/latest/reading_pa/0-0-0-31324

It also includes a vehicle identification guide that may be of help.
https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/readingpa/latest/reading_pa/0-0-0-22335

Double parking is a public safety violation because it creates hazardous conditions for other drivers and pedestrians. The danger it causes is why it is a higher fine than many other violations.

When approaching a double-parked car, many drivers go around the car. This scenario causes the potential for accidents because the moving car is unable to see beyond the double-parked vehicle. Double-parking may result in a head-on crash if the moving vehicle crosses into the oncoming lane to avoid the double-parked vehicle.

Similarly, pedestrians are at risk of being struck by oncoming traffic when they or other drivers are unable to see clearly around a double-parked vehicle.

Double-parked vehicles also block first responders attempting to reach a call, often on the way to intervene in volatile situations or render life-saving care.

Reading Parking Authority receives a large volume of complaints and requests for enforcement regarding this issue. In addition to the dangerous conditions it creates, double parking is an inconvenience for other drivers.

Regarding knowledge of the law – it is the driver’s responsibility to know the law. When they receive a license, drivers accept a large responsibility. Driver’s actions impact their own and others’; safety, so RPA is unable to dismiss a violation due to a lack of knowledge of the law. And I’m sure you can understand, if that were policy, every driver could simply claim they did not know the law.

Ordinances can be enforced 24/7, but our current details are 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

NOTE: Parking meters are an exception and enforced according to the following:

  1. Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 6:00PM
  2. Saturday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  3. During events in the Arena/DoubleTree event zone & Performing Arts Center event zone (Zone maps here: https://readingparking.com/event-parking/)

There are two “event zones” in which an event parking fee is charged for on-street meter parking when events are happening. (Maps of the event zones are available on the Reading Parking Authority website here: https://readingparking.com/event-parking/)

Members of the RPA staff hang signs on each meter head on event days to alert drivers the event fee is being charged.

I See Someone Parking In A Handicap Spot That Is Not Handicapped. How Do I Report It? Reading Parking Authority is available to enforce Reading’s handicap parking ordinance anytime a vehicle without the PennDOT-issued Persons with Disability Parking Placard and/or plate is parked in a designated space.

If another individual does have the placard and/or license plate, the City’s Public Works Department is probably best able to assist. You can reach them directly at 610-655-6236.

Public Works processes applications for handicap-accessible parking, and the application notes that handicap-accessible spaces may be used by any vehicle displaying a handicap placard. Spaces are not reserved specifically for the person who requested the sign.

Again, Reading Parking Authority is ready to assist if the car parked in the reserved space does not have a handicapped parking placard and/or plate. Please contact our Parking Enforcement Sergeant at 484-516-1963 via call or text to report the issue. The Sergeant will then dispatch a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) to your location.

Reading Parking Authority enforces the signs when needed, but the signs are installed by the City of Reading.

More information and the required application are available on the City website:
https://www.readingpa.gov/images/pdfs/Parking_for_People_with_Disabilities_Application.pdf

Ordinances being enforced include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, the following:

  • No stopping, standing, parking in traffic lane (aka double parking; increases risk of accident, harm, or death by causing other vehicles to make quick lane
    changes—potentially crossing into oncoming traffic—and diminishing sightlines for other drivers and pedestrians)
  • Parked in crosswalk (Increases risk of accident, harm, or death by causing pedestrians to walk in path of traffic)
  • Parked on sidewalk (Increases risk of accident, harm, or death by causing pedestrians to walk in path of traffic in order to pass vehicle)
  • Parked within intersection (Increases risk of accident, harm, or death by limiting sightlines for pedestrians and drivers trying to cross or turn onto another street)
  • Parked within marked safety zone
  • Obstructing driveway issued on complaint
  • Within 15’ of a fire hydrant (Increases risk of harm or death by impeding emergency responders)
  • Parked in bus stop (Increases risk of accident, harm, or death by causing bus to impede intersection when it cannot pull into bus stop completely; interferes with safe boarding for people with physical disabilities when bus cannot pull up directly next to sidewalk)
  • Parked in alley less than 18 feet wide (Prevents safe, accident-free travel in lane of traffic)
  • Parked obstructing garage entrance (Prevents drivers from safely entering and exiting property or completely blocks access to property)
  • Private property issued on complaint
  • Hazardous vehicle (health, traffic, or fire hazard)
  • Parked against the flow of traffic (Increases risk of accident, harm, or death because vehicle crosses the path of oncoming traffic; causes other vehicles to make quick lane changes into oncoming traffic lane and diminishes sightlines for other drivers and pedestrians)

Non-emergency assistance, including for a lost ticket, is available 24/7 from
a member of the RPA maintenance team via our help phone. The help phone is accessible at the entrance and exit gates of each garage. Just push the button with the small blue light in the middle and you will automatically be connected to the help phone.

In the case of a lost ticket, the person attending the phone will send the exit gate computer the full-day rate for the garage where you are parked. You can then pay via credit card and complete the exit process as usual.

Paper tickets are no longer left on the vehicle for daytime parking restrictions (aka street sweeper violations) or double parking. Street sweeping is more efficient and can cover a larger area when RPA officers do not need to exit the patrol vehicle for each violation.

In addition, paper tickets are no longer left on vehicles for double parking violations for officer safety. (Unfortunately, officers have faced a number of violent reactions when required to issue those violations via paper tickets.)

Letters are automatically generated and mailed for these violations. To account for variations in mailing time, penalty dates have been extended from 10 & 30 days to 30 &60 days.

No Parking signs can be used for any legal parking space. If the areas you would like to post signs are legal spaces, please visit the Reading Parking Authority website at https://readingparking.com/no-parking-signs/ for additional information.

If the areas in question are not legal parking spaces, we are not able to sell signs for them. In that case, if someone is blocking the area in question when you need it, please call our Parking Enforcement Desk Sergeant at 484-516-1963. She will dispatch a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) to your location and the vehicle can be towed.

Businesses are able to purchase temporary “No Parking” signs for a fee
per day, per sign. Each sign covers one parking space or approximately 20 feet. Signs may be purchased in a maximum increment of two weeks. If you anticipate your project running for six weeks, you will need to purchase the signs in three 2-week increments.

  1. Name of person requesting signs:
  2. Phone number: (Required to confirm order)
  3. Company name (if applicable):
  4. Total number of signs:
    (NOTE: One sign reserves one parking meter/one parking space/20 feet. You must order one sign for every meter, space, or 20 feet of curb.)
  5. Address where signs will be posted:
    (For clarity, please list each street & block separately. Please add more lines below as needed.) (In example A below, both sides of the 1100 block would be designated no
    parking for the specified dates/times. In example B, just one side of the block would be designated as no parking for the specified dates/times.)
  6. Date(s) to be used
    1. Start day & date:
    2. End day & date:
      (NOTE: Signs may be issued for a maximum two week period. If work is to continue longer than
      two weeks, additional signs must be ordered for each two-week period.)
  7. Times to be used daily:
    1. Start time:
    2. End time:
      (Signs must be posted a minimum of 24 hours in advance. They must be ordered a minimum of
      48 hours in advance and picked up at least 30 hours in advance to allow time for hanging. Sings
      will not be issued with less than the required time.)
  8. Reason for sign(s):
  9. Requested day & date for pick-up:

There are three possible ways to approach parking if you live on a metered
block. Hopefully at least one of the suggestions below is of help.

  1. If you live within two blocks of a Reading Parking Authority parking garage, you are eligible for a monthly permit at the residential rate. I don’t know if this is a viable option for you based on your location or comfort level walking between a garage and your residence. If you would like more information, please let me know your location and I can provide details about options in your neighborhood.
  2. Another option is to use the Park Mobile app to make meter payments. You can pay with your smartphone, and it also provides alerts when the meter is about to expire. You can learn more and get the app on the Park Mobile website. https://parkmobile.io/
  3. Request your block be zoned residential. Additional information about residential zones is posted here, and I have attached the petition form to submit the request.
    1. Residential zones are established by request from the residents of the block. A majority of the residents on the block must sign a petition stating that they are requesting a residential zone.
    2. The intention of residential zones is to increase residents’ chance of finding a legal parking space on the block where they live by stimulating turnover and eliminating storage of non-resident vehicles, but it does not guarantee a parking space.
    3. Anyone who lives on the block is eligible for the residential parking permit. The fee is $30 for the first year and $25/per year after that. The resident only needs to provide their driver’s license and registration both showing an address on that block.
    4. Residents who have a permit on their vehicle may park in excess of a time restriction that is within their assigned block. Residents may also park at a meter without depositing coins if there are meters on their block.
    5. The process for establishing a residential zone is established by city ordinance. Once Reading Parking Authority receives a petition, we then research the parking conditions on the block and make a recommendation to City Council. Council then votes on the request.

Payment plans are available for vehicles with an outstanding balance of $100 or more.

IMPORTANT NOTICE! A vehicle is at risk of being immobilized or towed if either of the following is true:

  1. It has an unpaid balance of $200 or more.
  2. It has 3 or more unpaid tickets.

Starting a payment plan is a final payment option before immobilization or towing occurs.

The penalty fee is applied if a violation is not paid or appealed within 30 calendar days of the date of issue or date of notice (whichever is later). Saturdays and Sundays are included in the 30 days.

Options for paying the citation are:

  • Online: www.ReadingParking.com Fast. Convenient. Available when you are.
  • Phone: 610-655-6166
  • Administrative office: 430 S. 4th Street Street; Reading, PA 19602
    • Mail / Dropbox (Checks or money orders payable to Reading Parking Authority. No cash payments, please. Returned check fee $25)
    • In Person:
      • Monday – Friday | 8:00 AM – 4:45 PM
      • Saturday | 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Drive-thru only)

Residential Garage permit rates are available to residents who reside within two blocks of a Reading Parking Authority garage. Rate information is available on the RPA website. https://readingparking.com/general-information/

If you would like to move forward with a garage permit, please visit our administrative office at 613 Franklin Street to complete the necessary paperwork. We are open M – F from 8:00 AM – 4:45 PM and Saturday from 8:00 Am – 1:00 PM.

Applications for surface lots can be completed online or in person at the office.

Residential zones are established by request from the residents of the block. A majority of the residents on the block must sign a petition stating that they are requesting a residential zone. The intention of residential zones is to increase residents’; chance of finding a legal parking space on the block where they live by stimulating turnover and eliminating storage of non-resident vehicles; but it does not guarantee a parking space.

Anyone who lives on the block is eligible for the residential parking permit. The fee is $30 the first year and $25/year after that. The resident only needs to provide their driver's license and registration both showing an address on that block.

Residents who have a permit on their vehicle may park in excess of a time restriction that is within their assigned block. Residents may also park at a meter without depositing coins if there are meters on their block.

The process for establishing a residential zone is established by city ordinance. Once Reading Parking Authority receives a petition, we then research the parking conditions on the block and make a recommendation to City Council. Council then votes on the request.

The likely reason your ticket isn’t visible in the system is that it was issued by a member of the Reading Police Department. Your ticket was police-issued if it starts with the letter “PD”. RPD uses a different system than RPA does, and tickets from their system do not automatically transfer to our system. RPD-issued tickets need to be manually entered by the issuing officer or a member of the RPA office staff.

If your ticket was indeed issued by RPD, you can scan the ticket and send the photo to us at this email address: (Info@ReadingParking.com)

A member of our staff will enter it for you and let you know when it’s available to pay online. (https://www.tocite.net/readingpa/Portal)

I Received A Ticket Even Though Snow Hasn’t Been Plowed And I Have Nowhere To Park.

We really do understand how hard parking can be, especially when snow is piled up on the streets. Many of us live in the city, too, so we go through the same things.

Because of the snow, right now our Parking Enforcement Officers are only enforcing hazard violations that create dangerous situations for other drivers and pedestrians. If you feel the ticket was issued in error, you have the option to appeal it on our website at https://readingparking.com/violation-appeal-process/.

We are able to dismiss one sweeper ticket per 12-month period if the individual who received the ticket lives in the block where the ticket was issued.

In order for the ticket to be abated, the individual must provide his/her driver’s license and auto registration confirming the ticket was issued in the same block as his/her residence. This sweeper courtesy is available one time during a rolling 12-month period.

Reading Parking Authority provides enforcement support for the street sweepers, but the City’s Public Works Department actually operates the program. We are not involved in planning services or schedules, so unfortunately I cannot address your concern.

You may want to contact the Citizens Service Center at 1-877-727-3234 to ask about the schedule for your street. You can also visit the Public Works Department web page at https://www.readingpa.gov/content/public-works to see if there is any information available.