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Dormont to mull parking options

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

With recommendations on fixing Dormont's perpetual parking crunch, a board of volunteers will need time to decide what to put into practice first.

As part of a graduate-level research project, three Carnegie Mellon University students spent the spring calculating the depth of Dormont's parking shortage on residential streets. Their ideas include expanding permit-only parking throughout the borough, adding meters on blocks adjacent to West Liberty and Potomac avenue businesses, and converting some two-way streets to one-way with parking on both sides.

The borough's Traffic and Parking Planning Commission, which advises borough council on traffic and parking issues, likely will need time and more detailed information before determining which proposals to act on, said chairman George Pitcher.

“We're going to recommend, in a couple cases, that there should be additional data obtained before we get to specific recommendations,” Pitcher said.

For example, before the commission can specify which streets could be made one-way, it would need to know the width of the streets that could be converted — not only to ensure there would be enough room for parking on both sides and traffic in the middle, but also to make sure emergency vehicles would have enough room to set up equipment in the roadway, Pitcher said.

Borough Manager Jeff Naftal said council needs to consider whether one-way streets would affect traffic flow.

Another recommendation was to tie the number of on-street parking passes per household to the number of off-street parking spaces, so that a family with a driveway and garage would not get as many on-street permits as a family without a driveway.

Pitcher said the parking commission would need information about the number of cars per household and how such limitations might affect residents.

The commission will hold a closed session before its next meeting Oct. 8 and might decide a few recommendations to bring to council's November meeting.

“One thing, no doubt, that we will recommend is to find a way to convince people to do more walking,” Pitcher said.

Matthew Santoni is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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