South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Mount Oliver to crack down those parking on yellow lines, sidewalks


Last updated 4/25/2018 at 10:14pm

Vehicles parked on yellow lines or sidewalks will be ticketed.

The reminder about the state and borough codes was reiterated during the April 16 meeting of Mt. Oliver Council.

No parking on sidewalks is in Section 3353(a)(1)(ii) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (Title 75). It states “No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle on a sidewalk…”

No parking on yellow lines is in Section 248-23.2 of the Mt. Oliver Borough Code. It states “No person shall park any vehicle at any time where curbs have been painted yellow to indicate no parking and/or where no-parking signs have been erected.”

Police Chief Matt Juzwick said yellow lines and sidewalk parking will be enforced by the police.

Residents who received tickets for those and other infractions were in attendance to complain about being tagged.

Mayor Frank Bernardini began the meeting by stating there are complaints from pedestrians about being unable to walk on sidewalks due to vehicles being parked there.

He said the officers are merely doing their jobs and enforcing the law.

Specific complaints from residents were held for the Questions and Answers session that concludes council meetings.

In the public safety report for March, Mr. Bernardini reported there were 505 total calls and 32 drug-related arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. There were two DUI arrests.

The K-9 units were used 27 times, including for drug and building searches, arrests, warrant service, tracking, apprehension, and targeted patrols. Fourteen warrants were served.

The police responded to one commercial alarm and eight residential alarms. Twenty-one abandoned vehicles were posted.

Parking Enforcement wrote 118 borough tags, while the Police Department wrote 31 borough tags. There were 54 state citations issued for parking violations.

All firearms qualifications and training were completed, and all officers passed their certification.

The police assisted the City of Pittsburgh with a homicide investigation. The police also arrested two males in possession of a stolen firearm in a stolen vehicle.

A new part-time officer had a start date of April 2.

In the fire report, the Mt. Oliver Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Lent fish fry fundraiser was a success. The company also signed up five new members.

In borough financial news, about 85 percent of the property tax has been collected.

In administration and finance, Councilwoman Tina Reft said the borough purchased a snow blower with a 20 percent discount.

In the report from code enforcement officer Tom McAllister for March, Councilman David Beltz reported there were 36 violations, including for early trash, pet waste, debris, storage of trash, and accessory structures. The violations resulted in 23 notices, 13 citations, and two legal filings.

A dangerous structure case was heard at Judge Richard King’s office, and continued to April 12 and then continued again. The owner is required to submit plans, permit applications, and start work by the court date.

Forty-one rental applications/notices were mailed. Year to date, $27,310 was collected in outstanding municipal claims from denials.

Mr. Beltz reminded everyone that garbage is now being picked up on Tuesdays instead of Mondays. Trash may only be placed out on the curb for pick-up after 6 p.m. the day before the scheduled collection.

He said he and Mr. McAllister rode around the borough, the result of which is 120 addresses he wrote down for citations, one-half of those were for putting trash out early. Other infractions included excessive trash and debris in yards.

Soon, high grass will be cited.

In the public works report, Mr. Bernardini asked about an ordinance for nuisance properties.

Mr. Beltz said council is looking at sample ordinances in other boroughs before crafting their own ordinance. But it will likely assign responsibility to landlords regarding their tenants.

Mr. Bernardini said a drunk or high resident recently verbally abused a council member for about 40 minutes.

“Nobody has to put up with this,” he said.

He said the new nuisance property ordinance will make landlords look closer at who they rent to.

“We hope to get this ordinance passed,” he said.

In public works, Councilman Justin Viale reported routine facility maintenance was conducted, including emptying trash, cleaning/sweeping, and re-stocking supplies. Trash cans were emptied three times per week in the business district.

“No Parking” signs on Fremont and Mary were updated for the new trash day. “No Parking” signs were installed on Walnut in response to the new ordinance.

Last month, an ordinance was adopted which extends to Koehler St. the “no parking” on one side of Walnut St. from Brownsville Rd. to Moye Place, effective immediately. A blind hill is the issue.

Public Works personnel also patched pot holes on Anthony, Arlington, Church, Hays, Margaret, Ormsby, Ottillia, St. Joseph, Stamm, and Walter. They performed four dye tests, and cleaned the inlets around the borough.

A utility pole on John was repaired.

In the economic development report, Ms. Reft said a gun bash fundraiser will be held on Sept. 8 at the Sokol Club in South Side. Other upcoming events for which details will be forthcoming include: Mt. Oliver Day on June 23; Fall Festival on Sept. 22; and Up on the Hilltop on Dec. 1.

In Questions and Answers, an attendee said her street has all rentals and Section 8 tenants who put their trash out two or three days early. She is worried about the rats it will attract in the summer.

Council President Amber McGough said citations will be issued to the property owners for early trash.

“We’re trying out best,” she said. Fines will increase for repeat offenders.

The resident also complained about piles of wood delivered to a neighbor’s house for burning.

Manager Rick Hopkinson said to call 911 if they don’t follow the county’s open burning regulations.

A resident next remarked that a large school bus is parked, with the engine running, on the sidewalk on Ottillia at 5:30 a.m. and later in the morning on weekdays. Pedestrians are unable to get by the bus.

Mrs. McGough said she would look into the situation.

An attendee then complained about a citation he received for flat tires on a vehicle parked in a parking pad on his property off the street. The flat tires were the work of vandals.

He said he did not know how he could be ticketed on his own property.

Chief Juzwick said that according to the ordinance, an abandoned vehicle must be surrounded by a four-foot fence. Otherwise, it is in violation.

The resident said he should have been notified earlier to take action.

Next, a 40-year resident congratulated borough treasurer Diane Holzer and auditor Ron Stadler for their finance work. He then complained that the EMS park on yellow lines and do not pay the meters while attending union meetings.

He asked why they are not tagged while residents are tagged who are forced to park on side streets as a result of the EMS parking. Mrs. McGough said they would discuss parking at the next agenda meeting.

Next, an attendee noted the barricade that closes the sidewalk in front of 141-143 Brownsville Rd. is turning into a play area for youngsters.

The area is condemned and the façade is in danger of falling. There were already a couple of stray pieces that have fallen, which is why the borough closed the sidewalk. The barricades are placed at crosswalks so residents may cross the street safely to avoid walking in the street around the barricades.

Mr. Hopkinson said the borough would add a “sidewalk closed ahead” sign to give more notice, however. While it is an inconvenience to have to cross the street, that is how it must be to protect the pedestrians until the building is repaired.

Another attendee complained about being ticketed for parking two-feet onto a sidewalk. He said he could not park on the street because people attending a party took up spaces, including parking on yellow lines. They were not ticketed, he said.

Mr. Beltz said it is becoming a “bigger problem” as more and more people are parking on sidewalks and wheelchairs must exit the sidewalk to get around the parked cars.

The last commenter was a Walnut St. resident whose daughter was ticketed. She said she did not know about the new ordinance extending the “no parking” on one side of Walnut.

She said she likes the change, but was never informed of it although the borough mailed letters to residents on the street.

The next council meeting will be on May 21.


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