South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

South Side RPP issues

 


One topic raised at the March 17 Planning Forum meeting was, once again, Residential Permit Parking (RPP). Mr. Ray Gastil, Director of Pittsburgh’s City Planning, was in attendance to field questions about all things “City Planning.”

Comments made by a business owner and Thom Barry, the Chamber of Commerce’s representative, showed a considerable disregard for the South Side residents. It is important for them to understand that our community is not a strip mall or park and ride but a neighborhood that consists of businesses, bars, restaurants and residents.

For years, residents have complained about their parking issues only to hear “that they should have known what they were getting into when they moved here.” Now that the residents have found a small voice through RPP, there appears to be an uproar by those who have benefited over the years at the expense of these same residents.

Most South Side residents, homeowners and renters, live in this neighborhood because of the conveniences it provides. These include the establishments on Carson Street. Unfortunately, others, oftentimes young professionals who are beginning to start families, leave because the challenges, parking being one of them, are just too great.

I have also heard from renters who have indicated they would never buy a house on the South Side because of parking and the other nuisance issues they face on a regular basis.

Residents are often told their home values have increased over the years because of the Carson Street corridor. This really only benefits those homeowners who sell; otherwise, those of us who continue to live here pay high taxes.

Mr. Barry asked that the city initiate a discussion on the effects of permit parking on South Side businesses. (He may not realize that RPP has been in effect in other neighborhoods for years and they continue to thrive.)

A better discussion would be with the residents in how we, as a neighborhood, can join forces in explaining our parking needs to the city and enlist their help in working on a viable solution.

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods and it draws many who want to live, work and own businesses here, not the suburbs. It behooves our city officials to work with those of us who are already here so we stay and welcome others to make our neighborhood their home.

The South Side Community Council has been working with the South Side Chamber and the Bar and Restaurant Association to make South Side a place for all of us to exist.

Let’s not be divisive, Mr. Barry. We are all South Siders. Let’s work together to make it the best neighborhood in the city.

Barbara Rudiak

South Side Flats

(The writer is a South Side Community Council Board Member.)

 

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