Dormont about 980 parking spaces short of need
Brian Condon can sit on his front porch in Dormont and watch his neighbors compete with patrons of West Liberty businesses for parking on Hillsdale and Texas avenues, jockeying for street parking in front of houses just outside a permit-only parking zone farther up the block.
A block over on Kelton Avenue, Rickey Callon, 25, said his girlfriend has had to park several blocks away at Keystone Oaks High School when she visited him.
“This street needs some control to it. What can be done, I don't know,” said Condon, 52.
Farther up Hillsdale at the borough building Tuesday evening, Dormont's Parking and Traffic Control Commission went over recommendations from a study by three Carnegie Mellon University graduate students of the borough's residential parking problems. The review found that Dormont is about 980 spaces short of demand. Recommendations included switching streets like Hillsdale to one-way traffic with parking on both sides.
“Mind you, not every street is a good candidate” for conversion, borough Manager Jeff Naftal said. “Some streets aren't wide enough. On some streets, the traffic flow would not make sense.”
One-way streets would need to be at least 26 feet wide to support an 8-foot-wide parking lane on each side with a 10-foot-wide travel lane down the middle, he said.
Linking on-, off-street use
One of the more controversial recommendations in the study, available at boro.dormont.pa.us, was to tie the number of on-street parking permits to off-street parking: If a house with three cars has garage and driveway space for two, that household would be eligible for just one on-street permit. Naftal emphasized that the parking commission and council could implement less-strict versions of the recommendations.
“I have a garage, but it's in need of repairs before I'd be comfortable parking my car in it,” said Hillsdale resident Diane Arrington, 53, who nonetheless supports stricter parking pass requirements. “I'd be giving someone else a place to park.”
But Greg Langel, another Hillsdale resident, said such requirements don't make sense for every block and might be seen as unfairly punishing residents with garages.
An alternative recommendation is to expand metered parking for businesses along West Liberty and Potomac avenues farther into neighboring blocks, then provide “flex” permits for residents of those blocks so they could park at the meters for free.
Judith Friedl, who lives in an apartment above a Potomac Avenue business, said such permits would have been handy when her son stayed with her for a few months.
“We'd have to run down to feed the meter at 6 or 7 in the morning to see if we could last through the day, then we'd have to go back in the evening,” she said.
Other recommendations include expanding permit parking to cover the entire 0.7-square-mile borough, not just the areas close to the business district, and changing the enforcement hours to cover times when competition for parking is fiercest. Permit parking is currently enforced between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The borough also could increase the annual price of a parking permit from $10 to as high as $40 and use the additional revenue to pay for more parking enforcement or equipment like “smart meters,” multi-space meters similar to the ones in Pittsburgh neighborhoods or Dormont's new public parking lot.
“I'm willing to pay more for a parking permit if you're able to eliminate some of the aggravation around here,” Illinois Avenue resident Barbara Marasco said.
The parking commission will discuss the study's recommendations at its Sept. 10 meeting, then make its own recommendations to the borough council. The earliest council would take action is Oct. 7.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCandless to buy back property for $250K
- Western Pa. business owners urge shoppers to think small
- Young Achiever: Dylan Marino
- Bethel Park students record books for hospital
- Mt. Lebanon staffers become hunters to attack deer problem
- Aquinas Academy set to open $4.85M expanded hall
- Upper St. Clair’s Goddard School set to open by summer