July 7, 2013

Airport cellphone lots get ringing endorsement

The free parking areas ease the headache of traveler pickup.

By LINDA LOYD The Philadelphia Inquirer

(Continued from page 1)

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Cars make their way through the cellphone lot at Philadelphia International Airport on June 19. The free parking areas, where people picking up travelers can wait, have sprung up at airports around the country.

Photos by Elizabeth Robertson/Philadelphia Inquirer

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Additional Photos Below

With a dozen signs directing motorists to the spot, Pennsylvania state police are issuing fewer tickets to drivers parked illegally on ramps.

But some cars still congregate haphazardly on roadways.

"I am told that we are still having an issue with people parking on the side of roads," said State Police Capt. James P. Raykovitz. "Our guys consistently are moving people along and occasionally writing tickets."

Philadelphia airport has no plans to add bathrooms or refreshments. "Our position is it's a short-term, safe, off-the-road, convenient waiting lot," Brune said. "First off, we are very land-constrained."

Minutes from the cellphone lot is a Wawa convenience store with gas and food. Drivers can also park in an airport garage and go into a terminal, or head to nearby Tinicum Township, Pa., "and there are amenities there," Brune said.

Did motorists waiting recently for passengers have suggestions?

"Potentially put in a rest area -- bathrooms of some sort," said Leigh Walker of Manahawkin, N.J., waiting to pick up his girlfriend. "A lot of people would really appreciate it."

Dan Rapak of Reading, Pa., would like to see the "no idling" signs come down because "in 90- or 100-degree weather, you are going to sit here with no air-conditioning." The signs ask parked motorists to turn off car engines.

Joshua Kocses of Princeton, N.J., said that if there were more space, he'd like to see a concession stand. "Other than that, it's definitely convenient. It's nice to drive and not pay for parking. Plus, I can just sit here and eat or work, do whatever I've got to do."


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Additional Photos

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Joe McGuriman of Lansdale, Pa., parks in front of one of three electronic flight status boards at the cellphone lot at Philadelphia International Airport on June 19.

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Max enjoys some fresh air while waiting in the car in the PIA cellphone lot with his owner, Jamie Kravec, who was picking up her boyfriend.


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