I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Heather Duffy
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 30, 2004

Share this Story:

Q: If I have a horse, can I ride it on city streets? Can I tie it up to the old hitching posts you still see around? How about tying it to a parking meter? Would I have to feed the meter? Can I get a parking ticket if I don't?

A: "The Parking Authority doesn't have rules about parking horses," says Richard Dickson, Philadelphia Parking Authority director of on-street parking. "I've never been asked this question before--in 21 years of working in parking," he adds with a chuckle. Parking a horse at a meter is not illegal as far as Dickson is aware, but he doesn't recommend it, since the horse might scare away others looking to park their cars. Tying horses to old-timey hitching posts isn't a good idea either, as that would likely put the horse on a sidewalk or on someone's property. For the rules regarding riding horses in the city, we turn to the Health Department, which regulates Philly's carriage horses. Spokesperson Jeff Moran confirms that some Philadelphians do keep horses in the city. He explains that people can ride horses in city parks and can take them across streets to and from the green space. (He goes on to suggest calling the Police Department to ask whether riders can legally join the traffic flow; we're still awaiting a response.) Moran doesn't recommend parking your steed curbside, citing not just safety but also theft. (Anyone know the street price of horsemeat these days?) Still no official word on riding with traffic, but at least you now know that you and your mount are welcome to walk city parks. "Horseback is certainly allowed. We have miles and miles of trails, and a great number of equestrians use the parks regularly," says Barry Bessler, chief of staff for the Fairmount Park Commission. He says only Wissahickon Park requires a user permit, and that both the Wissahickon and Pennypack parks require that horses remain on designated trails to protect the landscape. Otherwise, riding is restricted till curfew--between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., depending on the park. So to answer your questions in order: Uh, sure; probably not a good idea; again, not smart, but it's legal; yup, park and pay up. But really, where would they put the ticket?

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Heather M. Duffy at hduffy@philadelphiaweekly.com

Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend



(HTML and URLs prohibited)