Will you be affected by the changes to the Pittsburgh parking permit program?
PIttsburgh City Council has approved changes to the city’s residential parking program – a program that has not been updated for nearly half a century.
In the past, the program only allowed homeowners or tenants to apply for a residential parking permit, or RPP, by showing proof that they lived in the area of the permit. While there were a few options for guests, they were limited and generally didn’t work for most non-resident visitors.
Now there will be new types of passes for people who were not eligible for a parking permit under the old program, but still have to frequently park in a permit area. This includes home health care aids; contractors such as roofers or plumbers; the owners ; Airbnb guests; and nursery nurses.
According to City Councilor Bobby Wilson, sponsor of the bill, the goal is to make parking a little easier for everyone.
“There is no system for entrepreneurs at the moment. There is no system for health care workers or orderlies. There is no system for Airbnbs owners and their guests, ”he says. “What we want to do is make sure everyone has a fair chance.”
Administratively, the legislation also places the RPP program under the responsibility of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, transferring responsibility to the Department of Planning. Officials say this will streamline communication about the program and make it easier to maintain existing parking lots – and create new ones, if there is such a need.
Another feature of the legislation is the creation of “hybrid zones”, which are located within half a mile of a hospital, college or professional sports stadium. These zones allow residents to park near their homes with a permit while providing visitors with unlicensed parking that can be measured by the parking authority. (In the current system, zones are usually limited to one type of parking lot or the other.)
Changes have been going on for some time, but no one has had much success so far.
“Several other members tried to accept it, and it just didn’t work out for some reason,” Wilson said. “It kept getting dropped so I thought I would try my luck because it really required me to change the system and the processes. It kind of spoke to me at the problem-solving level.
Last March, the city asked residents for their feedback through a 26-question poll. He asked for feedback on the residential parking program and for ideas on how it could be changed. About 2,400 people responded, 85% of whom lived in a RPP area.
From there, city staff created potential changes to the RPP code based on the feedback.
Some parts will come into effect immediately. But others, like the website update software component with the new pass options, might take a little while.
“It may take a few months to build, but we want to make it a plug-and-play type of solution where you can easily go online if you are an entrepreneur, register your license number, that’s okay.” he said.
Under the old system, people who needed a derogation from the parking rules had to apply for a derogation or special permission to park without a permit. Since deviations are handled on a case-by-case basis and there was no official way to monitor this parking lot, it was easy for bad actors to abuse the system.
Wilson’s chief of staff Sally Stadelman says they hope the new legislation will not only help standardize the process and make it easier for everyone involved, but also prevent the program from being misused. .
“People who work in a large institution and seek to park in the streets of the neighborhood rather than in the parking areas designated for employees or using public transport … we want to prevent this kind of abuse”, a- she declared. “The Parking Authority is well aware that its users also feel frustrated by these abuses. ”
Stadelman also said the average licensee won’t notice a huge difference in how the system works – or what it costs.
Prices for new permits vary; a contractor’s permit is $ 10 per week, a health care permit is free, and a homeowner’s permit is $ 25 per month or $ 250 per year, for example. The existing RPP license will remain the same price for now – $ 20 per year – but Stadelman has warned that some changes could be made in the near future.
“We think the Parking Authority will likely introduce a new fee structure in 2022 or 2023. An RPP permit has cost $ 20 since the 1980s,” she said. “This obviously does not cover the cost of implementing the program, so we expect a future discussion on changing the base fee for residents. “
Raising fees can also help reduce abuse, while encouraging people to use public transport when possible.
“We want to encourage people to consider alternative modes of transportation. Oakland is a great example, ”she said. “As a student, you can certainly get around by public transport. “