South Siders provided input
Planning Forum members, joining your conversation that took place at the February 9 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum regarding the newly confirmed Parking Enhancement District legislation and the creation of a Zone 3 Police-requested public safety lane between 10th and 17th streets, as well as engagement of stakeholder organizations in those processes, I would like to offer the following clarifications:
Beginning in December of 2014, my office began meeting with the many stakeholder organizations and individuals to both inform and garner input around this public safety and transportation-oriented initiative.
On Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. at the chamber Visitor’s Center, I had my initial introductory conversation regarding parking enhancement districts with Chamber President Jonathan Growall and Executive Director Candice Gonzales.
On January 7, 2015 at 12:30 p.m., we revisited the South Side Chamber of Commerce Offices, bringing with us invited guests, then Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar, Chief of Police Cameron McLay, and then Nighttime Economy Coordinator Maya Henry to engage in a fuller discussion with Mr. Growall and Ms. Gonzales. This conversation was hosted with specific attention to broader improvements in policing and transit solutions on the South Side with a particular emphasis on the policy strategy created within a Parking Enhancement District.
On May 12, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. in City Council’s large conference room, Ms. Henry and I again reached out to Mr. Growall, chamber leadership, UPMC Mercy South Side and the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association to further discuss these upcoming transportation and public safety improvement strategies to be launched within the South Side.
On October 20, 2015 at 4:15 p.m., Mayor Peduto’s office hosted a meeting with my office, Zone 3 Police Commander Karen Dixon, Mr. Growall, Jerry Morosco and the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association to discuss residential permit parking, implementation of the proposed safety lane, and the importance of a timely police response in the event of an emergency.
On November 18, 2015 at 3 p.m., I hosted a stakeholder roundtable introducing our Nighttime Economy Coordinator Allison Harnden, bringing a vast and comprehensive national experience in Nighttime Economy planning and management to the City of Pittsburgh. At this roundtable, among many topics up for discussion, the framework for the implementation of a Parking Enhancement District was again a focal point of review and request for input by stakeholders. In attendance: Mr. Growall and the Chamber of Commerce, the South Side Community Council, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Pittsburgh Transportation Group, City of Pittsburgh Public Safety officials, University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.
Then, as recently as February 15 at 12:30 p.m. in council’s large conference room, I again hosted a working group with Mr. Growall, Ms. Gonzales, the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association, the South Side Community Council and its executive director, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor John Fournier, Police Chief Cameron McLay and Acting Zone 3 Commander Cunningham to yet again take input and offer a broader discussion around the PED legislation and the proposed public safety initiatives in the South Side.
As the elected representative of a richly diverse swath of South Pittsburgh neighborhoods, I depend upon organizational leadership to take what we present and then carry it to their constituent members.
We remain insistent all stakeholder parties have a voice in the execution of this carefully crafted nighttime public safety/transportation strategy, endorsed by District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Mayor William Peduto, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich, Police Chief Cameron McLay, Zone 3 Commander Karen Dixon, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and myself, your elected Council Representative.
We are greatly encouraged by the positive feedback that our office has received regarding this bold, public safety-oriented plan with an emphasis on transportation planning and management.
I am confident the creation of a Parking Enhancement District will prove a resounding success in its ability to fund a sorely needed enhancement to police presence, creating a safe, inviting, and pedestrian-focused business district for all who live, work, or visit the South Side.
I invite all to contact us directly with any questions or comments you may have about this or any other topic at 412-255-2130. My staff and I are always available and are here to help.
Bruce A. Kraus
Councilman, Pittsburgh City Council District 3