The parking tax should not be confused with the Parking Authority.
Parking is a Plague of Pittsburgh Edit
As a 2001 candidate for mayor, a gentleman delivered a copy of the front page of a very old newspaper that contained an article about Pittsburgh's parking problem. The newspaper was from the 1940s. This front-page-news article reported on the results of an extensive survey. The number one problem with citizens back then concerning downtown Pittsburgh was identified as parking.
Parking has been a core problem in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and still ranks very high today. Parking issues have been slightly less pressing given the senseless leadership that chooses a pathway to blight and bankrupcy, but in the streets of Pittsburgh, especially of Downtown, South Side, and Oakland, parking is generally considered a top problem.
Parking is always a top concern on the South SideEdit
At all the community meetings and discussions, parking is always raised as a concern among residents. Parking seems to trumph all other concerns in the South Side.
Long term outlookEdit
Going bankrupt created a bigger problem than parking. However, after all the residents are pushed out of town, and the population decline continues for a few more years, the age-old parking problem may diminish. There is sure to be more parking spots when there are no more people living and working in Pittsburgh.
Still a problem. Template:Art-littleEdit
To fix the 1940s parking problem, elected leaders created a Parking Authority. This was a top problem then, and parking is still a top problem today. The Parking Authority failed to resolve the problems. The problems have not gone away, in a global sense. Furthermore, trying to fix the problem only caused debt.
In Oakland, clinic patients often drive to medical appointments and find parking garages that are full. The patients get to Oakland and are turned away because of an insfrastructure problem. Often, patents miss appointements as they can't find a parking spot.
- The VA Medical Center in Oakland presents a serious parking problem.
- UPMC in Oakland has a shortage of parking at certain time of the day.
Government and an authority can't fix Pittsburgh's parking problems on its own. Don't expect great results out of a Parking Authority. Rather, better, market-driven solutions are needed.
- Investigation roils Parking Authority workers, Private investigator hired amid rumors, July 24, 2006, by Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- An investigation into allegations of employee theft has roiled relations between workers and management at the Pittsburgh Parking Authority less than two months after a new labor contract was signed.
Subsidized living for the rich. Edit
- Parking Authority deals with downtown leases for residents Trib coverage, November 2004.
Greyhound Bus Station ProjectEdit
Grounded in realityEdit
- By Adam Brandolph, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, January 16, 2008
It was billed as a metropolitan hub with connections to Amtrak and a future light-rail line, but the Grant Street Transportation Center will be something less when it's completed.
If it opens this summer, as officials now promise, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority's much-delayed project at Libertyand 11th -- not Grant Street -- will be a rebuilt Greyhound bus terminal and two parking garages with a total of 1,050 spaces.
Former Mayor Tom Murphy once said the station would open in 2005, but the city's financial woes kept the Parking Authority from breaking ground on schedule.
Asbestos removal and rising costs of construction materials delayed the project further, according to Dave Onorato, executive director of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority. The total cost, which is being paid with Parking Authority bonds, escalated from an initial $25 million to a current estimate of $42 million.
"The delay was because of issues out of our control," Onorato said. "We couldn't start construction until we secured the financing."
From the project's announcement in 2003 until contractors broke ground more than three years later, several elements were cut from the plans.
Amtrak, originally mentioned in the mix, was eliminated from consideration early, Onorato said.
Then the Port Authority of Allegheny County decided to drop the Convention Center Line, which would have extended to the new facility, to save money on the proposed $435 million North Shore connector. That eliminated the T station.
Still, the project will replace an eyesore. The 380,000-square-foot structure, with its 150-foot-tall glass tower and illuminated cone facade, will replace a building Greyhound owned for 46 years.
The bus company has been operating out of a temporary facility at a Second Avenue parking lot.
While Greyhound spokesman Dustin Clark said the company usually looks for intermodal transportation centers like the original plans of the Grant Street Transportation Center pegged it to be, he said the company is satisfied with the current design.
"We like the ability for our customers to have the option of interconnectivity," Clark said, "but we look at what's best for the company, our customers and the city as a whole. Sometimes, (having an interconnected station) doesn't make sense."
Greyhound traded $6 million in equity in the old bus station for a 50-year lease in the new one, which has 14 bus slips and a 15,000-gallon underground fuel tank. Store fronts and offices round out the project, along with the two new garages.
Onorato said the additional parking spaces -- 800 more than the razed building had -- will keep rates stable as demand increases across the city.
"For the Parking Authority to maintain its income, we have to charge more or build more lots," he said. "What we're doing is better for our customers."
Garage: South Hills Village
Year built: 2005
Cost: $24 million
Parking spaces: 2,200
Garage: The Waterfront, Homestead
Year built: 2002
Cost: $11.3 million
Parking spaces: 700
Garage: West General Robinson Street Garage (corner of West General Robinson and Mazeroski Way)
Year built: 2006
Cost: $29 million
Parking spaces: 1,255
Garage: North Shore Garage (668 West General Robinson Street)
Year built: 2006
Cost: $29 million
Parking spaces: 924
Garage: Grant Street Transportation Center
Year built: 2008
Cost: $42 million
Parking spaces: 1,050
Adam Brandolph can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7936.