South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Planning Forum working on how to address S.S. parking

 


Discussion about how best to address parking concerns in the South Side was the focus of the June 9 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum.

There were no presentations.

At last month’s meeting, Thom Barry, of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, reintroduced his motion from April to convene a neighborhood planning process to address parking issues.

At that time, forum Chair Hugh Brannan said the discussion would include residential permit parking (RPP).

At the June 9 meeting, Tracy Myers, of the South Side Neighborhood Plan committee, said the development of a comprehensive parking strategy should take place under the umbrella of the neighborhood plan.

She said while all concerns should be itemized, only the city can solve them.

She presented the example of “How does permit parking on 28th St. affect a business owner with four employees?”  It is the South Side’s issue, but the city needs to solve it.

Ms. Myers said the most logical way to approach the issue is “that no single thing in the neighborhood stands alone.”

Mr. Barry said the parking issue is a critical concern that cannot be put on hold until the neighborhood plan revision is adopted months from now.

“We have a critical mass here,” he said.

Mr. Barry stated businesses’ complaint is there are not enough parking spaces, which involves two issues: daytime parking and nighttime parking.

Barbara Rudiak said the South Side Community Council’s interpretation of Mr. Barry’s motion from last month was to begin discussion. She said being part of the neighborhood plan is achieving what the organization thought the motion was.

Ms. Myers said each organization should come to the next forum meeting with a list of parking concerns.

Mr. Barry said the motion will be to discuss solutions to the parking situation, and discuss like good neighbors.

He suggested in the near future, parking might have its own committee.  Members could deliver short reports at forum meetings, as does the Development Review Committee (DRC).

Ms. Myers said while parking solutions may be proposed, the “whole scenario” must be understood as, with permit parking, there are often negative ramifications.

Next, in the report of the DRC presented by Peter Kreuthmeier and DRC chair Ms. Myers, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) issued a request for proposal, or RFP, for the design of signage or other elements to define the entrances to South Side Park.

Regarding facade renovations for 1221 East Carson St., historic treatment is desired at the ground level.  Signage approval will be sought from the DRC.

Next, variances, including for height, are required for the proposed 112-room “Home 2 Suites by Hilton” hotel at East Carson and Sarah streets. The structure will be 70-feet high at its highest occupied point.

The multi-story hotel will have a multi-story garage below.

When exiting the site, right turns only will be permitted onto East Carson and Sarah streets.

In other news, the anchored marina house, when completed, will have restrooms and marina offices, and serve as a hang-out for boaters. The full-service marina is located adjacent to Riverfront Park near 26th St.

In the neighborhood plan update, Ms. Myers reminded attendees of the goals for managing and sustaining the neighborhood’s success.

Generally, the goals fall into these categories: maintaining a clean and safe neighborhood; creating strategies for addressing transportation and parking issues; optimizing the value and use of green spaces; ensuring that physical development is appropriate to a historic urban environment; and preserving the enhancing the neighborhood’s infrastructure.

Ms. Myers said she would acquire neighborhood plan models from Ray Gastil, the city’s new director of the Department of City Planning, who spoke earlier this year at a forum meeting.

“We want to provide the city with something they can help us realize,” she said of the plan revision.

In other news, the July 10-12 (Fri.-Sun.) South Side Food Fest is a go.

Adam DeSimone, of the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association (SSB&RA), said the family-friendly event will feature a sidewalk sale with food vendors, retailers, and other merchants.

The event would run from noon to 7 p.m. on each of the three days. No alcohol will be served outdoors.

Live free music that ends at 7 p.m. will take place on July 10-11 at the 18th St. parking lot. On Saturday, July 11, Joe Grushecky and his band will headline the show with a performance from 4 to 6 p.m.

Families and children will be the focus on Sunday, with child-friendly activities like a petting zone, balloons, and more.

In Brashear Association news, the organization’s “Christmas in July” toy drive will be held from 5-7 p.m. on July 16 at the Rowdy Buck, 1321 E. Carson St.

Attendees are urged to bring a new, unwrapped toy and a $10 cash donation. The donation also covers food and entry in raffles at the Rowdy Buck.

The annual drive begins in the summer so the agency will not to run short of toys in December for Christmas.

In the evening’s final announcement, the city will hold a capital budget forum from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on June 22 at the South Side Market House.

Residents will learn more about what goes into a capital budget, discuss needs and priorities in a small-group setting, and ask questions of an expert panel.

The next forum meeting will be a combined July-August meeting on July 28.

 

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