Feed the meters in South Side on Sundays now
May 24, 2022
Sundays are now part of the Parking Enhancement District (PED), or the enforcement of South Side Flats parking meters from 6 p.m. to midnight.
PED funds must be invested back in the neighborhood for public safety, cleanliness, and infrastructure improvements.
Scheduled speaker Julie Hecker, VP of Operations, UPMC Mercy, was not present at the meeting due to a calendar snafu. If available, she will present at the next forum meeting.
Chrisarah Johnson, of the Mayor’s Office, kicked off the meeting by reporting the city is hiring, with more than 70 lifeguard and manager openings. If they are filled, more pools can open this summer.
She also reported the Love Your Block grant application system is open. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on June 15.
The city’s mini-grant program supports volunteer-fueled neighborhood improvement projects, such as community garden maintenance, clean-ups, tree and flower planting, and more.
For more information, visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/dpw/lyb-application
Ms. Johnson also announced that public city budget meetings will be subject specific, like parks and recreation, and infrastructure. No dates have yet been set.
On another topic, Mr. Kraus said the frequency of shootings, such as the drive-by shooting on May 8 at S.12th St. and Bedford Square, “brings grave concern to everybody.”
“It is a very big concern,” Ms. Johnson said of the Gainey administration.
She said the East Carson St. violence issue they are working on needs to involve the police, building code officials, and others.
“We are very aware of it,” she said of the problems.
“We want to be more effective in our approach. We’re working on it,” she said.
Mr. Kraus said big crowds like the one in California last month that resulted in multiple fatalities could happen here in the overcrowded streets.
Crowds and alcohol can lead to violence, he said.
“It is a heightened opportunity for a mass casualty event to take place,” he said.
“We want to make sure we’re as strategic as possible,” said Ms. Johnson.
The city’s nighttime economy manager, Allison Harnden, reported a “Gun Violence in Nightlife” forum, held by the Sociable City Network, will be held on June 14.
For more information, visit: https://sociablecity.regfox.com/gun-violence-in-nightlife .
Ms. Harnden next delivered the April PED report.
April PED revenue totaled $15,849.34. The enforcement costs were $813.95. The 2022 revenue to date is $55,589.90.
The total revenue since the PED began in April, 2017, is $888,210.66.
In the liquor license changes update, the Loft Lounge (Enclave) at 1602 East Carson St. released its license from safekeeping.
New off-premise catering permit for Scarlett Rose Enterprises, Inc. (Twelve Whiskey Barbecue) at 1222-4 East Carson St.
The two-person Clean Team, or Block by Block, which is funded by PED funds, maintains the E. Carson St. corridor. The Clean Team removes trash and graffiti/stickers, lends hospitality assistance, and more.
Clean Team trash removal for April totaled 20,482 pounds. Ninety-two graffiti/stickers were removed.
The Clean Team also collected 250 alcohol containers, with most in parking lots and on Friday and Saturday nights.
The PED expenditures include $13,109.18 for the March Clean Team and manager.
The trust fund balance is $218,882.88, which includes the 2021 revenue transfer of $128,807.46.
Ms. Harnden also reported that any organization can apply to Environmental Services for a cigarette urn. Visit the Clean Pittsburgh Commission website: https://pittsburghpa.gov/clean-pgh/cpc
Mr. Kraus said cafes can offer alcohol on a sidewalk café if an “extension of premise” is obtained from the LCB.
He also stated, as he has at past meetings, that he wants to add a third member to the Clean Team. The PED is currently spending about $200,000 for the Clean Team, and a new person would require an increase in revenue.
He is waiting to see the revenue generated by the addition of Sundays to the PED.
Mr. Kraus also reported he is hoping to partner with businesses to reduce the waste being generated in the business district – about 1600 pounds of garbage every month is being picked up.
He also met with a company about redesigning the holiday banners for East Carson Street.
Mr. Kraus reported a “Healthy Ride” station will be installed at the brick wall in the 1700 block of East Carson St. which is frequently graffitied, but has not been vandalized recently.
Updating the PennDOT Carson St. safety improvement project, Mr. Kraus said wrap-up should occur at the end of summer. Then the 18th St. signals upgrade project for pedestrian safety will begin.
The intersections will be redesigned at Sarah St., Jane St., Mary St., Josephine St., Mission St., Arlington Ave., and Amanda St.
The traffic signal upgrades include: gloss black signal poles; audible countdown pedestrian signals; and more.
There is a big push to have the painted crosswalks done when school starts, he said.
To a question about cleaning parking lots, Mr. Kraus said PED revenue is only from parking meters, but that the revenue is used to cleaning parking lots.
Last summer, power lights were used to light up the lots.
“It seemed highly effective,” he said.
Ms. Rudiak also reported the second annual Battle of the Block Watches, in which teams compete in neighborhood cleanup efforts, was held on April 23.
Ninety-three volunteers, about half which were Duquesne University students, collected 148 bags of trash.
She also reported the Ormsby children’s garden opened on May 5.
The first of these events, which closes streets to car traffic and opens them to children, pedestrians, bikers, and others, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 29.
It will start downtown at Market Square, proceed through the Armstrong Tunnels across the Tenth Street Bridge, and up East Carson St. to the Birmingham Bridge. From there it will turn around and loop back to Market Square.
The Chamber is encouraging South Side businesses normally closed on Sundays to be open. They are also going to apply to the city for permission to use the Armstrong Park ballfield as a bicycle valet parking location.
The Vietnam Veterans are planning to hold a Memorial Day ceremony at the S. 18th and Carson streets Veterans Memorial corner on the morning of Monday, May 30 at approximately 9:15 a.m.
The Chamber will clean the marble memorial and weed and spruce up the plants around the gated memorial. The veterans will change the flags. The Chamber will staff the event to assist the veterans, as needed.
Next, Lynn Kurhan, of UPMC, confirmed that COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at the old South Side outpatient center, 2310 Jane St., has ended.
The next Planning Forum Zoom meeting will be on June 14.
The combined July-August meeting of the South Side Planning Forum will be held on July 26.