Here's a map of Philly's residential permit parking zones - Philly


Jun. 20, 2014 1:21 pm

Here’s a map of Philly’s residential permit parking zones

The map is part of a bigger project for designer Lauren Ancona. “The greater project is going to be mapping all of the street parking in the city in terms of the information on the actual signs that are so confusing,” she said.

(Screenshot via

Drivers and data-heads alike, rejoice: One designer has created a helpful map for Philadelphia motorists, making it easier to see the borders of the Parking Authority’s residential permit parking districts.

The map was designed by Lauren Ancona, 33, the assistant director of UArts’ Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, using cloud-based mapping platform Mapbox.

“I’ve looked for a quick map to show where parking was, but it never existed,” Ancona told Philly. “I just wondered about it for years.”

Ancona credits Jarvus CTO Chris Alfano with the assist, after meeting up at the Philly EdTech Hackathon last month.

“I worked with Chris Alfano and the school district for a visualization of the budget,” said Ancona, who moved to Philly in 2008. “I looked [for parking permit information] and the only place that data was available is in the city code, actually. So the definitions of the parking zones weren’t available in any other formats. As an exercise, I thought it would be interesting.”

This is just the start for Ancona, who’s working on a larger mapping project through Code for Philly that also focuses on parking.


“The greater project is going to be mapping all of the street parking in the city in terms of the information on the actual signs that are so confusing,” she said. “I’ve long had an interest in making it easier to understand what’s available. [Mapping] is a really interesting intersection between my geekiness, my interest in data and my visual life.”

Max Ufberg

Max Ufberg is a freelance reporter in Philadelphia, where he's been living since 2008. A graduate of Temple University, Max has covered everything from books and business to boxing and blues. He's originally from Scranton, PA. Find him on LinkedIn here.

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  • Chris Alfano

    The link to the map the article is talking about was a bit difficult to find (it’s in the caption of the header photo), it would be helpful if it was linked to in the body of the article somewhere too

    • Zack Seward

      It’s in the embedded tweet, but I also just added it in the lede. Thanks.

  • NateFried

    Awesome! I tried doing a similar project where residents could see a map of where all the 1 hr, 2 hr, 3hr, loading zones, free parking was a few years ago… but it became SOOO cumbersome and impossible for someone of my amateur skillset. This is a great addition to that need, however! Perhaps the next step would be to create a map of “free parking” in philly???

  • citywide

    Pretty colors—-big deal. If this map is actually suppose to communicate something then I’m missing it. Within any district there are blocks that have permit parking and blocks that don’t, so whats the point of this map (acknowledging that it probably took a lot of effort to collect the data)?

    • Tiger_words

      I so completely agree with this. Seems like much ado about nothing. Okay, I am on ——– Street, where do I park? Do I open this up and fumble through this or just look at the street signs? Hmmm

    • Tiger_words

      It’s been improved. See below.

  • Jaime Agudo Canalejo

    What to the colours mean? I’m new to Philadelphia and, as it stands, the map gives me exactly ZERO information. I don’t know what to make out of it.

    • Lefty Grove

      That’s a fair question. The legend explains the side-of-street color coding but not the zones.

      Here’s an answer, of a kind: if you get a residential parking permit, it will be valid within the boundaries of the zone that contains the address of the proof of residence (such as driver’s license) that you bring to the Parking Authority.

      • Tiger_words

        Yes, but there should be some overlay to show what sticker is what. #4, #6 etc.

        • laurenancona

          This is all now available in the full web app version:
          (menu icon top left with layer selector)

          • Tiger_words

            Very helpful, thank you

  • laurakay

    what a tremendous amount of work! thank you so much — this is very useful! this morning i wanted to know how close i could park to a destination, and still be within my (comparatively large) permit zone. your map was the most helpful source i found to navigate the decision.

  • Dennis R Smeltzer

    Find this map pretty much useless. It does not show areas a permit covers and it is highly inaccurate since it does not show where more than one permit applies. There are a lot of border areas where two permits apply, but this map does not show it. This map might be useful if you are trying to see if you can park where you are right now except…. there are signs posted that already do that! It is useless for answering a question like; “I have permit # where is the closest point I can park with my permit to xxx address?”

    While the tech is quite impressive, it is not very useful for the real world.

    • laurenancona

      The toggle on the left hand side shows permit areas. There is a standard overlap of 1 block on either side of a boundary where either permit is valid, according to city code.

      • Lefty Grove

        Thanks, Lauren! I, finding this page a year and a half later, had the same question, so I was glad to see it answered.

        As a permit holder, I would find it useful to be able to turn on only the blocks in my one zone that do have permit parking. From my perspective, a block with no permit parking is the same as a block with parking for a different zone.

        How brilliantly resourceful to dig through the city code for the data! The article links to the code as a whole; does it contain, somewhere, a verbal description of each zone? How did you turn that into data a mapping program could consume?

        In some cases the map differs from what is actually posted.For example, the map says that zone 6 doesn’t go north of Spring Garden Street on 21st Street, but there’s a zone 6 sign on the southwest corner of 21st and Clay (about 606 N. 21st). (Have zone boundaries shifted? Did you and the Parking Authority interpret the city code differently?)

      • Tiger_words

        Yes, the toggle is helpful, but not really intuitively findable. But the map makes much more sense now. Maybe have both aspects of this available for Google to get images of so when we search for images, it shows up without having to toggle


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