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By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

South Side updated on most recent attempts at expanding permit parking

 


A brief update on residential permit parking in the South Side was the sole presentation at the July 29 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum.

Ashley Holloway, City Planning’s neighborhood planner, said he spoke at the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association meeting of April 8.

The petitions he received said “no” regarding a petition drive in their neighborhood, so there will be none in the foreseeable future.

Under the program, individuals who own cars with permits are permitted to park anywhere in the program area all day and night except for local restrictions like street cleaning. Those without a permit may park for only a limited amount of time, which may be no longer than the timeframe determined by residents.

Permit parking is a way to give residents of a designated area a better chance to park near their homes as it helps alleviate non-residents from parking on residential streets.

In the Flats, Mr. Holloway said Mayor William Peduto signed off on the enlargement of an existing residential permit parking area from South 17th St. to South 22nd St ., but excluding South 22nd St.

The next step is for the Department of Public Works to erect signs. There is no enforcement until then.

He said in the resident-driven program, at least 70 percent of the households in a proposed district must sign a petition to qualify, as well as 70 percent of the households on each block in the proposed district.

Mr. Holloway said tenants may sign petitions.

While no proof of residency is required when a person signs a petition, Mr. Holloway said he verifies those who sign by either calling the residence, or sending a postcard to the name/address.

If the latter is returned by the postal service, he knows the signee does not live there.

On July 22, there was a public hearing before the Planning Commission on a proposed residential permit parking area from South 22nd St. to South 29th St.

Mr. Holloway said he expects the Planning Commission to issue a recommendation on Aug. 5 which would then be sent to city council.

Enforcement would be from noon to midnight, Monday through Saturday, with a two-hour grace period. The latter is the amount of time a non-permit holder would be permitted to park during enforcement hours.

At that hearing, a letter from the board of directors of the South Side Chamber of Commerce was formally presented as public testimony, chamber board and forum member Thom Barry said.

In the letter, the chamber recommends these actions regarding residential permit parking:

1. Approve a thorough and comprehensive review and update of the residential permit parking program set forth in the city’s Code of Ordinances;

2. Require that all renters submit a valid, current and signed rental agreement with any response for any South Side parking permit survey;

3. Direct the City Planning staff to identify and assist the South Side with the requirements needed to establish one overall permit parking zone for the entire Flats neighborhood that includes all property owners, businesses, and tenants.

Next, Peter Kreuthmeier read a brief update from chair Tracy Myers of the Development Review Committee (DRC).

She wrote that the proposed redevelopment of the Brewhouse (the former Duquesne Brewery) was received with enthusiasm by most of the people at an information session attended by several DRC members.

The project will restore a large chunk of real estate, and put it to good use.

The development team is working to find spaces off site to meet the city’s parking requirements that cannot be met on-site.

To an inquiry about the neighborhood plan, forum Chair Hugh Brannan said it will be discussed at the Sept. 9 forum meeting.

Next, Mary Ellen Solomon, Duquesne University’s director of government relations, said she is working with South Side’s Chamber of Commerce and the Community Council to organize the first party for residents and students at the South Side Welcome Center, 1100 East Carson St ., on Oct. 22.

She is also talking with Barbara Rudiak and Jennifer Holliman of the Community Council about ways to engage students in neighborhood volunteer and service projects.

Ms. Solomon is also working with Ms. Holliman on information to distribute to students about living in the neighborhood.

In announcements, the third Annual South Side Garden Tour will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17. The self-guided tour is rain or shine.

The South Side Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Golf Classic to benefit the South Side Welcome Center will be held on Sept. 8 at the Pittsburgh National Golf Club in Gibsonia.

To register, call 412-431-3360. Visit http://www.southsidechamber.org for more information.

The Brashear Association will hold its 97th Annual awards luncheon on Oct. 23. More details to follow.

At meeting’s end, city Councilman Bruce Kraus stopped by to briefly report on the “Annual Bureau of Public Safety Report” issued the previous day.

Of the six police zones, Zone 3 -- which includes South Side -- had the second most calls.

Zone 3 also had the most traffic stops, and the most Part 2 crimes, which includes burglaries, robberies, and car break-ins.

Zone 3 had the second most arrests of the six zones, and the most DUI arrests.

Mr. Kraus also said Stephen Bucar was confirmed unanimously that day as the city’s public safety director.

“He is a really, really great choice,” he said, noting Mr. Bucar lives in the South Side.

The next forum meeting will be on Sept. 9.

 

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