Parking meters to be enforced on Sundays in South Side
Warnings will be given in December and tickets beginning in the New Year
November 16, 2021
The new year will see the addition of Sundays to the Parking Enhancement District (PED), or the enforcement of South Side Flats parking meters from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Currently, the PED operates on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The expansion of PED hours to include Thursdays began this summer, and have resulted in an additional $3600 a month.
PED funds must be invested back in the neighborhood for public safety, cleanliness, and infrastructure improvements.
Mr. Kraus said for the first month on Sundays beginning Dec. 1, there will be a grace period in which an Oops Card on the windshield will gave a break to violators. But starting January 1, 2022, fines will be issued.
He projected that the addition of Sundays will result in total PED revenue of $20,000 per month.
In the PED report for October, delivered by nighttime economy coordinator Rachel Webber for Allison Harnden, October revenue totaled $19,325.40.
The 2021 revenue to date is $129,852.35. The PED trust fund balance is $174,261.59.
The total revenue since the PED began in April, 2017, is $808,651.02. Mr. Kraus said the $1 million mark should be surpassed in 2022.
In her report of the Clean Team, or Block by Block which maintains the E. Carson St. corridor, and is paid from PED funds, Ms. Webber said trash collection for October totaled 17,750 pounds. Fifty-seven alcohol containers, such as bottles, fifths and pints, were also collected.
The Clean Team removed 102 graffiti/stickers.
Enforcement costs for October totaled only $2,604.64.
Barbara Rudiak, president of the South Side Community Council (SSCC), said the Sunday PED will have an impact on the residential area as motorists will park on those streets. She suggested a change to residential permit parking (RPP) in the South Side.
Mr. Kraus said changes are expected to the RPP by year’s end.
Regarding the Clean Team, he said services have been cut back in previous winters. But he met with the two-member Clean Team, and the team will be kept through the winter without layoffs, which the members requested.
Mr. Kraus said with construction on-going their services will be needed over the upcoming months.
He also said if revenue is healthy and the Sunday PED is successful, he would like to add a third full-time worker to the Clean Team in Spring, 2022. The third person would work solely on the 7th to 27th side streets.
“They’re pretty shabby,” he said.
In an update on the PennDOT safety improvement project, Mr. Kraus said “this is the worst of it now” as far as inconveniencing motorists.
The project extends from the Smithfield St. Bridge to 33rd St., and includes milling and resurfacing; signage and signal updates; sidewalk improvements; ADA ramp and guiderail installations; high visibility crosswalks; and more.
Completion is expected in mid-summer.
He also reported the 18th St. signals upgrade project for pedestrian safety should begin in early spring, 2022. Signals will be replaced and intersections redone at Sarah St., Jane St., Josephine St., Mission St., Arlington Ave., and Amanda St.
On another topic, Ms. Rudiak said there are complaints of rented scooters “being left everywhere,” including taking up parking spaces. An attendee commented that she can imagine snow plow problems if this issue persists.
Mr. Kraus said scooters cannot be ridden on East Carson St. Scooters are not permitted to be left on a sidewalk, or operated on a street with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour.
When a drop is made a photo must be sent to the Spin scooter company. It is an effort to have scooters left in an orderly fashion, he said.
Next, Planning Forum chair Tom Smith said there is a request from Port Authority Transit (PAT) for a letter of support from the Planning Forum in its application for a federal grant to increase transportation safety around Station Square.
The letter deadline is next week.
Ms. Rudiak said the SSCC agrees to a letter of support from the Planning Forum, and will also submit its own letter of support.
Candice Gonzalez, executive director of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, said she will recommend support for the Planning Forum letter to the Chamber board, and also its own letter.
She also said she would check with the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) on this matter.
Next, in Old Business, Ms. Rudiak reported four projects were presented at the SSCC at its October 21 Development Activities Meeting (DAM).
A DAM provides an opportunity for citizens, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders to learn about the proposals that affect them and to resolve concerns at an early stage of the application process.
Those presentations were for 1712 E. Carson St., 2424 E. Carson St., 3010 E. Carson St., and 155 S. 15th St. Each will need to go before the Historic Review Commission (HRC) and/or the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).
The projects are currently in the 30-day public comment phase.
All of the SSCC’s DAMs are recorded, and can be viewed on SSCC’s YouTube channel.
No projects are scheduled for presentation in November.
In the DAM report of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), a DAM was held on Oct. 27 on a new, three-story, single-family dwelling at 1611 St. Patrick St. A variance is sought as it exceeds 50 percent threshold in the hillside district.
It can be viewed on the SSSNA’s YouTube channel.
In organization reports, Mr. Smith said meetings on the Neighborhood Plan have been postponed until January.
Ms. Rudiak said the SSCC is working on projects that can be viewed on the SSCC website, http://www.southsidecommunity council.org
In the report of the Chamber of Commerce, president Mark Bucklaw said the chamber board is scheduled to vote for its executive committee at its Nov. 17 board meeting. A new president will be elected as Mr. Bucklaw served two terms.
Board members are sought to join the SSSNA. If interested, contact Blake McLaren at 412-721-1745.
In other news, Melissa Ott, a teacher at Pittsburgh Phillips K-5, is teaming with Jesse Snyder on outreach in the South Side community. They currently have a partnership with Churn for student decorating of the ice cream shop, in exchange for ice cream for students as an incentive.
Mr. Kraus relayed there were two troubling incidents the past week: a Pitt basketball player assaulted a police officer, and has been suspended by Pitt; and a stabbing in Carson Towers.
A meeting with management and others at Carson Towers was planned for Nov. 12
The final comments were from an 18th St. resident who suggested getting youngsters more involved in the Ormsby children’s community garden, such as with programs in horticulture and gardening. She would volunteer to help.
She also suggested a better city website with listings of neighborhood meetings, such as the Planning Forum meeting, and events in parks and elsewhere which residents can easily access.
The next Planning Forum Zoom meeting will be on December 14.