Over a year ago, back in the heart of the recession, when the Pittsburgh parking garages were added to the chopping block, I begged the powers-that-be to hold off instead of risking a fire sale in light of the poor economy. However, it turns out I was wrong. The snail's pace of government has brought us full circle to the tail-end of the recession. Combined with the Pittsburgh's international exposure during the G20, we have managed to wrangle up 7 solvent international companies to bid on lease of the garages. Impressive timing or good luck? I don't know. But full steam ahead to see what the bidders have to offer.
As to whether leasing the garages is a good idea? I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. And with a variety of folks interested, I'd say the odds are pretty good that we can strike a bargain that doesn't immediately screw downtown commuters while giving a much-needed infusion to the pension fund. If Mayor Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh City Council can continue the good cop/bad cop routine for this whole process, we may even come out ahead. How about for a few extra million we let them install those fancy credit-card accepting parking meters like they have in Mt Lebanon? Then no one will have to carry any quarters around unless they're headed to the casino.
The Hubris of Social Science
2 days ago