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Free parking Downtown designed to lure holiday shoppers

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 1:21 p.m.

Parking will be free at Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages in the Golden Triangle every Saturday starting this weekend until Dec. 22, the last Saturday before Christmas, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office has announced.

Ravenstahl said he hopes the free parking will encourage people to shop Downtown. The Parking Authority's board of directors approved the promotion at a meeting on Thursday. Ravenstahl appoints the authority's board members.

“By offering free parking, we make it possible for customers to more readily enjoy all that Downtown has to offer,” Ravenstahl said in a prepared statement.

The city will offer free parking at 11 garages.

Nine of the garages are Downtown: Oliver Avenue, Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street, Third Avenue, Mellon Square, Ninth Street and Penn Avenue, Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies, First Avenue, Smithfield Street and Liberty Avenue and Grant Street.

The remaining two are on Meyran Avenue in Oakland and Bellefonte Street in Shadyside.

Parking Authority Executive Director David Onorato said the loss of parking revenue would range from $125,000 to $150,000.

Separately, Councilman Bill Peduto said he will introduce legislation Monday suspending on-street meter enforcement for one day on Nov. 24, which is Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, the day after the post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” retail blitz, is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the importance of small retailers and to increase sales at small, independently owned businesses.

Trib Total Media staff writer Bob Bauder contributed to this story. Jeremy Boren is a staff writer Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or jboren@tribweb.com.

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