March 14, 2017 | vol. 77 No. 37

South Side parking meters will be enforced 'til midnight on weekends

Drivers coming to South Side will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets to continue to park at metered spaces on Friday and Saturday nights beginning this Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m.

South Side gets the first Parking Enhancement District beginning on Friday, March 17 when meters in the neighborhood will begin being enforced until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. A grace period for the first 28 days will see motorists receiving "Oops Cards" instead of citations for failing to "feed the meter." Additional revenue generated from the PED can only be used by the Public Safety and Public Works departments in South Side.

The South Side Flats will be the first neighborhood to be designated a Parking Enhancement District (PED) in the city. The new PED will extend the time motorists will have to feed the kiosks to midnight at all metered spaces in South Side, including SouthSide Works, on Fridays and Saturdays

Although the cost will remain the same, 25 cents for 10 minutes or $1.50 an hour, the two-hour limit will be lifted after 6 p.m. Motorists will also be able to use the Pittsburgh Parking Authority's Go Mobile PGH app to pay or add time to their meters.

Pittsburgh Parking Authority Director of Enforcement and Residential Permit Parking John Fournier outlined the PED at the December 2016 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum.

It is estimated the PED could generate $250,000 annually, which would be dedicated to South Side. City law allows the extra income generated from the extended meters to be directed only to public safety or public works improvements in the neighborhood.

For example, revenue from the PED could be used to pay for police officers on Friday and Saturday nights in South Side. Funds from the 6 p.m.-midnight metering in South Side are not permitted to be spent outside of the neighborhood.

At the December Planning Forum meeting, Mr. Fournier said the PED plan is a work-in-progress, for which adjustments can and will be made.

"If the meter rate is too high or low, we will adjust it.

"We'll keep trying things until we get it right," he said.

To get motorists acclimated to the extended enforcement hours, there will be a 28-day grace period where they will get an "Oops Card" instead of a ticket. The Oops Card outlines the new hours, costs and a free option for parking: The Pittsburgh Parking Authority's Second Avenue Lot and free shuttle service.

The Second Avenue Lot will be open and free beginning Friday evening and extending until Sunday. The shuttle will operate into the wee hours of the morning and drop drivers off at their vehicles in the lot after dark. The lot is lighted and patrolled.

More information is available at: niterider.pittsburghpa.gov.

Initially, pairs of parking enforcement officers will be escorted by Pittsburgh police during the extended hours to help diffuse conflicts with parkers unfamiliar with the new enforcement.

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