Bridge going into PIttsburghBy William R. Conner, CAPP

In 1998, the City of Pittsburgh, Pa., introduced a 10-year revitalization plan known as The Pittsburgh Downtown Plan, for the central business district. The plan identified several issues in the downtown area that required addressing; the goal was to expand the downtown life to that of an 18- to 24-hour city while continuing to expand business and development. The plan identified issues that may prevent the rejuvenation of the downtown and the ability to expand downtown life. Those issues included a retail corridor and entertainment area lacking patrons, a negligible residential population, a shortage of adequate parking space, and traffic flow.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority introduced a resolution to establish special leases and permits when possible to make parking available for downtown residents and give property developers the opportunity to secure space in designated garages. The resolution known as the Downtown Leasing Program initially offered a maximum of 50 spaces per year that granted 24-hour parking access for new housing units for $100 per month.

Today, the program averages about 350 leases per month at a reduced rate. The reduced rate is the percentage of parking tax paid to the city and the maximum has been eliminated. So if space is available and you are a downtown resident, it is yours. To qualify, a potential lessee must present an executed lease agreement from the leasing agent, a copy of their current driver’s license, and the first month’s payment.

William  R. Conner, CAPP, is assistant director, parking services, with the Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh.