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Building Innovation is a collection of stories by 90.5 fm WESA reporters about the Pittsburgh region focusing on efficient government operation, infrastructure and transportation, innovative practices, energy and environment and neighborhoods and community.

Officials Plan To Extend South Side Meter Enforcement As Part Of Pilot Program

Deanna Garcia
90.5 WESA

If you're headed out for a night on the South Side, you could find yourself having to pay for parking past 6 p.m.

City officials are planning on eventually enforcing parking meters through midnight.

They haven't said when the change would take effect, but hope to start enforcing it in the coming months. 

This comes as part of the new initiative developed by Mayor Bill Peduto, City Council President Bruce Kraus and Nighttime Economy Coordinator Allison Harden to ensure a safer business district on East Carson Street in the South Side.

The extra money made from parking revenue will go toward police efforts on the South Side, as well as cleanup and transportation needs. 

“Being that this is un-sequestered new revenue that has not been allocated, we are going to legislate through council with the assistance of the mayor’s office and his team that the allocation of those funds to be used specifically for policing efforts,” said Kraus.

Kraus believes the increase in officers will act as a deterrent for crime and other “destructive behavior.”

“Police are necessary in night life districts when we as planners and administrators fail to plan and manage," said Kraus. 

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay believes the initiative will be effective based on his prior knowledge and experience.

“By working really responsibly with police, government officials, residents, business owners and coming up with a collaborative plan, we ensure these entertainment districts have responsible guardianship that includes not just police but business owners, residents, and others in the area,” said McLay.

The initiative could also bring about a parking lot with transportation to parts of the South Side to decrease traffic and a "public safety lane" that would be designated exclusively for public safety vehicles during peak hours. 

“If we cannot evacuate an entertainment district, for lack of a better word, in a neat, clean and orderly fashion, it is when you find destructive behavior,” said Kraus.