Philadelphia Parking Signs

If you live or work in the city, you can’t help but notice that they are changing all the signage for parking as well as removing the parking meters for the kiosk system. Both suck but I’m going to focus on the signs for a moment.

Are you fucking kidding me? The old signs were hard to understand and read and I can see having to replace them to deal with the new kiosks, but let me take a second to state the obvious: when you redesign something, generally you try to make it better, not worse.

Picture yourself driving down the street in city traffic and encountering one of these signs as you determine if you can legally park. (I’ve helpfully included some photos from the drivers perspective as an example of what I’m talking about). Let me tell you that my eyesight may not be perfect, but these signs are hardly readable. They remind me of powerpoint slides made up by corporate suits that have so much text on them that you can’t read them from the first row of the meeting.

Assuming you can actually read the signs, they make little or no sense. First you need to determine where you are (red or green side?), then you need to decipher what time and day it is and see if it fits into the listed moments when you are allowed to park. Then you have to read all the rest of the sign and see if any other rules apply to you. Seriously?

I can only wonder how much money we spent on all these signs. They should be replaced since they will subtlety discourage tourism and lower overall goodwill towards the city. But of course they won’t be. Why could we not have hired someone to properly design these signs (which clearly were layed out by some low level secretary in the streets department). It’s not like we need Edward R. Tufte, but perhaps maybe someone who knows his name may have done a better job.

So sad. So sad.

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