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Economy & Business

Legislation Calls for Dynamic Parking in Pittsburgh

If legislation up for debate Wednesday goes through, you could see parking meter prices in Pittsburgh fluctuate depending on the time of day.

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced a bill that would allow for dynamic prices for parking meters in certain neighborhoods starting in 2015.

“It adjusts the price of parking meters based on parking supply and demand,” Rudiak said. “So it will actually change the price based on how close one is parked say to the main street business district or how far.”

She said spots that are not frequently used will lower in price while spots that are frequently or always used will increase.

“A lot of it is just what are some of the…most trafficked business districts in the city of Pittsburgh,” Rudiak said. “And that’s where we’re going to start this program off.”

Those districts include Downtown, Oakland, Shadyside, the Strip District, North Side, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Uptown and East Liberty and would be enforced from 8 a.m. to either 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. depending on the zone.

Rudiak said City Council would enact the legislation, and based on data supplied by The Pittsburgh Parking Authority, the director of finance would designate the prices for each location.

“Really, you leave it up to the consumer about what they’re willing to pay for parking – if they’re willing to park a little further away, pay a little bit less, maybe walk a little bit more – that’s their prerogative,” Rudiak said. “If they’re willing to park a little bit closer, pay a little bit more, then that’s their prerogative – so it’s really a market model for parking in the city of Pittsburgh.”

She said this is a conversation that’s been had over the last few years, and there has been a pilot program in effect for dynamic parking at Carnegie Mellon University, which was met with positive feedback.

She said dynamic parking would make sure there isn’t being money “left on the table” in terms of revenue for Pittsburgh as well as ensure the business districts are getting as many customers as they can.

“If there’s a car that’s parked in front of a shop for too long, that means that there’s less turnover for parking spaces and less consumers that are able to park and walk and shop in business districts,” Rudiak said. “So we want to make sure there’s a healthy availability of parking for when people go shopping in our local business districts as well.”

If passed, Rudiak estimated that the legislation would go into effect early 2015.

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