Our April Happenings Community Meeting was hosted on 4/13/2023 at 6:30 PM at Arsenal Middle School at 220 40th St. The Happenings are the once monthly community meetings hosted by LU and LC on the second Thursdays of the month. This particular Happenings served as a kickoff meeting to a month’s long community process around a proposed Mobility Enhancement District (MED) and possible Residential Permit Parking (RPP) changes. There were approximately 40 people present in person and 10 people present over Facebook Live.
Dave Breingan, LU Executive Director, gave an overview of the meeting structure before introducing Councilwoman Deb Gross. Councilwoman Gross gave an overview of the proposed Mobility Enhancement District that is currently sitting in committee at City Council and reviewed why she introduced the ordinance this past December.
There was then some expectation and value setting by Sarah Trbovic, LC Executive Director, to ground the conversation. Dave then provided context to what led to this community process. Over the years, feedback from residents in the form of surveys, community meetings, neighborhood plans, and grassroots organizing have demonstrated that mobility and accessibility are of great concern for all community members. With this in mind, this community process’s goal is to make our neighborhood safe and accessible for all who wish to enjoy it via all modes of transportation.
Sarah discussed the Mobility Enhancement District (MED), which would lead to new and additional meters primarily along Butler Street from 33rd to 34th Streets and then 45th-57th Streets. These meters may also charge for parking overnight and the revenue generated would go into a trust that lives at the City of Pittsburgh solely for mobility enhancement improvements in Lawrenceville. These enhancements could include public improvements like bump outs, bus shelters, traffic calming, bike parking, accessibility enhancements, and more. Allison Harnden, the Nighttime Economy Manager for the City of Pittsburgh, discussed the similar Parking Enhancement District that has existed in the South Side since 2017. Over the past six years, the Parking Enhancement District has generated almost $1.2 million (gross) in funds that have been put primarily towards cleaning of some of the South Side’s most frequented streets.
Following the MED presentation, Dave gave a brief overview of what RPP is before introducing Angie Martinez and Eric Lynch of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) who gave an in-depth review of the process towards adding and amending RPP zone, as well as an overview of the newly launched hybrid zones (those having RPP and metered parking). They discussed that if this community process determines that changes/additions to RPP are desired by the community, that will launch about a 9-months long process (at least) to see any changes go into effect, including studies and public hearings.
After DOMI presented, Dave discussed what potential changes could occur with RPP, including possible changes to hours of enforcement (i.e. switching to evening hours). He then presented 3 options for RPP, and emphasized these are not the only options. LU and LC created these 3 options to get the conversation started, but really want to know what will work for each section of the neighborhood and block by block. Option A would be RPP stays the same; Option B would be some additional RPP zones, and new hybrid zones; and Option C would be full RPP throughout the neighborhood. Additional feedback on these various options will be solicited at the upcoming Open Houses.
Following the presentations, a Q&A began for the audience to ask those involved what this process would look like. There were many thoughtful questions and ideas on how to make MED and potential changes to RPP work for neighbors (please see the link below for some of the questions posed). DOMI, Councilwoman Gross, the Parking Authority, LU, and LC all assisted in answering these questions as needed. These conversations will continue into our 3 Open House which will be held at the following times:
- Tuesday, April 18, 5-7 PM at Trace Brewing
- Saturday, April 29, 11-2 PM at the Ice House Studios
- Monday, May 1, 11-2 PM at the Boys and Girls Club
We hope to have you join us there for more one-on-one and group discussion around your ideas and input for MED and RPP. Our community process will conclude at the May Lawrenceville Happenings on May 11 at 6:30 PM at Goodwill. Please also visit bit.ly/LVMobility2023 to fill out the feedback form or pick up a paper copy from the library on Fisk Street.
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