A bill given preliminary approval by the Pittsburgh City Council Wednesday would extend the use of parking meters in the South Side until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. City officials plan to enforce the new parking rules in February.
City officials said the extra parking fees could generate as much as $250,000 for the Department of Public Safety to improve livability on the South Side.
Paid street parking enforcement currently ends at 6 p.m. The revenues would be placed in a trust fund within the Department of Public Safety.
Topping the list of expected uses for the money is adding more police officers to Carson Street during prime bar hours.
“I’ve yet to figure out the logistics on it, said Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh public safety director. “However, it will not take any officers that are currently on the street or assigned (to other zones). It would be additional employment for them.”
Hissrich said having extra officers in the South Side could also have a positive impact on policing in the city’s other districts, especially if there’s a large disturbance along Carson Street.
“It will allow those officers to handle the situation on the South Side, preventing the officers from responding potentially from the North Side or from the East End or from the Hill District,” Hissrich said.
Money in the trust fund could also be used for capital projects like taxi stands and services such as shuttle buses to remote parking lots, according to John Fournier, Pittsburgh Parking Authority director of enforcement and residential permit parking.
The trust fund is the first created under an ordinance recently passed by council. Similar funds for specific areas or use could be created in the future.
Councilman Bruce Kraus, who represents the South Side, said he hopes to launch a public awareness campaign with enforcement to begin in February.
The rate between 6 p.m. and midnight would be the same as the rate the rest of the day, $1.50 per hour.