Monday, April 12, 2010

Luck and Parking

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.


Adam said...

There's already a few of those meters around the city. I've seen them in PPA lots at 18th and Sidney, in Shadyside, and along streets surrounding Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

John Morris said...

And why shouldn't mostly out of town commuters be "screwed" by whatever rates the market will bear?

Haven't we given them enough free stuff? View of most American cities from the air and try to guess who lost WWII?

Instead, the cities small residential tax base will have to take on this subsidy.

People who can't or won't pay should honestly admit they hate Pittsburgh and should consider leaving the region ASAP so that those of us who came here to live work and play can enjoy a real city.