August 2, 2007

The solution to the Pittsburgh Parking Problem

As a lowly tour guide in college, part of our script was emphasizing the beauty of Pittsburgh, the "city of bridges", ranked second only behind Venice. Directing focus on the view of Pittsburgh from the incline would distract the parents and students from noticing the "character" of South Oakland (i.e. vomit, burned couches, empty kegs, dangling side mirrors) where Brutus or Candy would be living as soon as they realized it is a bad idea to pass out drunk in your Tower A hallway when you could just as easily do it without university repercussions in your Atwood Street dive.

But rental oversight being an entirely different matter, that stream of cognitive dissonance relates to a dream I had last night in which I solved all of the problems that Pittsburgh has with parking. All of them. I call it "Venice".

So let's say we flood the Mon into Downtown. Think of all the benefits:
  • Clean energy - no car exhaust from gondolas, only accordions and singing
  • Port Authority - all of the bus routes that would be "submerged" would give the PA the opportunity to renegotiate the contracts that would "sink" the city anyway (pun!)
  • No need to build a T line to Oakland anymore...or the underground line to the North Shore. Think of all the savings...I say we put those benjamins towards buying the Pirates no less than one good player
  • Tourism bucks! Act 47 would be "washed away" (pun!) with the "flood" of $ (pun!) coming into the city as a result. awesome.

I don't know about you, but I think my idea is just the kind of farsighted thinking that has inspired city government for years.

But seriously. I've always considered myself to be a solutions oriented kind of guy, and in this case the solutions being offered are not addressing the problems.

Why hasn't anyone looked into why this program costs so much? I personally have contributed about $244k in parking fines to the city, so they can't be doing that badly. But operating costs over a half a million dollars? How much do those little stickers cost? I don't know what the enforcement officers are getting paid, but this current system is absolutely inefficient.

I'm not for intra-neighborhood enforcement, but Mark Rauterkus makes a good point. There is a beast of a Buick that is ALWAYS on the street out front of my place, no sticker in sight, and I don't see a stack of tickets under his wiper, while at the same time my girlfriend was helping me move and got a ticket for exceeding her one hour (9:06-10:11) even with her four ways on and a heaping pile of ikea in the back. Sigh. So many people are residential parkers, and yet there are no small scale lots. I know plenty of students who brought their car out merely so they could go home when necessary and/or not have to wait 45 minutes at the Waterfront for the 59U to pick them up.

My final gripe is an extension of the spin analysis offered by the Burgh Report this morning. Every time I watch Ravenstahl take credit for something that 1. BOC did 2. Donorato did 3. anyone else did, an angel loses its wings somewhere. Please please please, Luke, honestly, stop taking credit for things you didn't do. He claims in the "fresh and hip" Youtube spot included with the BR post with a grin that in this year's budget, he actually sliced the parking and business privilege taxes - BOTH STATE MANDATED. Perhaps I'm naively misunderstanding this as "politicking", but moves like this are just adding more shells to DeSantis' bandolier.

I'm enthused I was able to use bandolier in a post.

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

Thanks for the plug and nods.