Parking Wars title screen
|Directed by||Daniel Elias
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||104 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Daniel Elias
Kendall E Canner
|Picture format||16:9 HDTV|
|Original airing||January 8, 2008, December 22, 2012|
Parking Wars was a reality television series which aired on the A&E television network. The program followed traffic enforcement employees as they ticket, "boot," and tow cars as part of their parking enforcement duties.
The show began airing on January 8, 2008. The final season premiered October 6, 2012. The final episode was December 22, 2012.
The series' original focus was on the employees of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) and their daily work: ticketing, booting (via wheel clamp), and towing cars, and dealing with the issues that arise with the public when they try to retrieve their vehicles from the impound lots. The show also includes footage of vehicle owners interacting with employees on the street when their vehicles are ticketed, booted, or towed.
Each episode consists of three segments, shown either in chronological order of a car entering the PPA violation system (ticket, boot/tow, impound) or reverse chronological order. Many of the "Booting" segments feature the favorite team of Steve (better known by his last name, "Garfield"), a longtime PPA employee and self-professed "gadget geek," and his partner Sherry, who has "the fastest fingers on the Eastern Seaboard" according to her partner, as they travel on their assigned beats to track down cars with three tickets or more, all at least six months old, and "boot" them so that the owner cannot continue to drive the car until they pay the outstanding fines. Booting a car usually requires the PPA employee to snap on a device, locking the mechanism of the front wheel so that it will not be able to move. Sometimes, attaching a boot to a car is difficult because of the size of the wheels. This is unnerving because it is a race against time before the owner of the vehicle returns.
One of the PPA tow truck drivers featured in the series, Martin, died shortly before the show's debut. The show's official page at aetv.com has a section dedicated to his memory.
The first five seasons of Parking Wars were filmed on location in Philadelphia. Beginning the third season, Detroit's MPD (Municipal Parking Department) was added as a location as well, in addition to the PPA. Beginning in season 5, the parking enforcement unit of Providence, Rhode Island is featured. In season 6, the show added Staten Island and North Hempstead, New York, and Trenton, New Jersey to its list of filming locations.
The series was based on a 2001 documentary of the same name about the PPA, produced for A&E and Britain's Channel 5, about a day in the life of the PPA, from morning to late night, taped in April 2001. The documentary featured off-screen narration by Daniel Jenkins, as well as all elements of the PPA's operation—ticketing, booting, impounding, towing, adjudication and auctioning. When the series debuted seven years later in 2008, the narrator was dropped in favor of the employees telling the stories themselves, each episode had three separate segments, and the adjudication and auctioning aspects were no longer featured (with towing only featured very occasionally). Some of the staffers that appeared in the documentary, such as boot crew member Steve Garfield, would later be seen in the series. When this documentary was rebroadcast after the start of the series, it was listed in television listings as "The Lost Pilot".
- "Parking Wars - A&E TV". A&E. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- "Meet the Tow Truck Squad". A&E. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- "TV's 'Parking Wars,' 'The Wannabes' to be shot in Metro area". Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Per A&E listings at zap2it.com.
- Official website
- Philadelphia Parking Authority
- Detroit Municipal Parking Department
- Parking Wars at the Internet Movie Database
- Parking Wars at TV.com
- Philadelphia Inquirer: "Philadelphia is losing in 'Parking Wars'", June 9, 2009.
- New York Times: "City Finds a Reality Show Hard to Watch", June 22, 2009.
- New York Times: New York City Cracks Down on Tickets Left Unpaid, December 3, 2010.