LU provides testimony regarding off-street parking design standards

A public hearing at City Council was held on Wed. 4/21 on Council Bill 2021-1085, which creates new design standards for off-street parking for single-family attached homes. This comes after advocacy from Lawrenceville United and 11 other organizations called for this additional measure, among other measures, to limit the propagation of driveway curb cuts on walkable streets, due to the damage they do to public off-street parking, safety and accessibility, housing affordability, the creation of street trees, non-vehicular mobility, and neighborly interaction.

LU and our partners will be provided testimony to support the proposed legislation, and once again advocated for further steps to limit the spread of driveway curb cuts on our walkable blocks. Read our full testimony HERE and contact Dave@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220 to get involved in this issue.

Update: new design standards for driveway curb cuts

New legislation (Council Bill 2021-1085) at the City of Pittsburgh is being considered for design standards for off-street parking for single-family attached homes. This comes after advocacy from Lawrenceville United and 11 other organizations called for this additional measure, among other measures, to limit the propagation of driveway curb cuts on walkable streets, due to the damage they do to public off-street parking, safety and accessibility, housing affordability, the creation of street trees, non-vehicular mobility, and neighborly interaction.

A Planning Commission hearing on the legislation is scheduled for Tuesday 2/23 at 2 p.m. Planning Commission will then provide a recommendation to City Council, who will also have a public hearing and then take final action on the zoning text amendment.

LU and partners will be providing testimony to support the proposed legislation, and once again advocating for further steps to limit the spread of driveway curb cuts on our walkable blocks. Read our full testimony HERE and contact Dave@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220 to get involved in this campaign.

R1A Zoning Text Amendments go to City Council

In March, Mayor Peduto introduced zoning text amendments with a goal of “improving pedestrian safety, enhancing neighborhood walkability, and promoting non-vehicular mobility.” Under this proposed legislation, minimum parking requirements would be reduced from 1 to 0 in R1A (residential, single-family attached AKA rowhouse) neighborhoods like Lawrenceville. Maximum parking requirements would remain the same (4). For more information, check out this City Paper article from Ryan Deto.

Planning Commission hearing was held on 6/30/2020 on this proposed legislation. Read LU’s submitted testimony HERE. The Planning Commission recommended that Council pass the zoning text amendments and also pursue fact finding around stronger measures to limit curb cuts across the City.

The legislation then proceeded to City Council, where another public hearing was held on 9/30/2020 at 2 p.m. LU joined with 11 other community organizations in issuing a joint letter calling for City Council to immediately amend the legislation to include the curb cut design standards for the RIV (riverfront zoning) in R1A (single-family attached residential zoning, i.e. row house neighborhoods).

For any input or to get involved, please contact LU at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.

Update: off-street parking requirements for rowhouse neighborhoods

In March, Mayor Peduto introduced zoning text amendments with a goal of “improving pedestrian safety, enhancing neighborhood walkability, and promoting non-vehicular mobility.” Under this proposed legislation, minimum parking requirements would be reduced from 1 to 0 in R1A (residential, single-family attached AKA rowhouse) neighborhoods like Lawrenceville. Maximum parking requirements would remain the same (4). For more information, check out this City Paper article from Ryan Deto.

A Planning Commission hearing was held on 6/30/2020 on this proposed legislation. LU, along with Lawrenceville Corporation and members of Lawrenceville Stakeholders, all provided testimony in support of the goals of the legislation and encouraging the City of Pittsburgh to go further by providing additional tools to communities to restrict integral garages and curb cuts on primary streets. As LU has heard repeatedly through the Lawrenceville Community Process, the continued creation of curb cuts, driveways, and front-facing off-street parking has a number of detrimental impacts to the neighborhood: removing precious public on-street parking for a single user, reducing the walkability and accessibility of our sidewalks, driving up housing prices, permanently preventing the ability to plant street trees, and demoting neighborly interaction at the street level. For all these reasons, LU is encouraging the City of Pittsburgh to restrict off-street parking for single-family homes to be accommodated from rear alleyways and not primary streets — or else make front-facing off-street parking require a variance or special exception at the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Read LU’s submitted testimony HERE.

After the hearing, the Planning Commission passed two motions: one motion recommended the proposed zoning text amendments in 2020-0198, and the second motion recommended that City Planning conduct exploratory research on additional legislation to further reduce the preponderance of curb cuts across the City.

The legislation will now move forward to City Council, where another public hearing will be scheduled. LU will keep the community informed as this gets scheduled!

For any input or to get involved, please contact LU at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.

Picture shows integral garages at corner of 52nd and Keystone Streets in Upper Lawrenceville
Photo credit: Ryan Deto, City Paper