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Munhall officials, residents, business owners seek solutions to parking woes

| Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 1:21 a.m.

Complaints about the lack of parking spots available on some Munhall streets are nothing new, and borough officials have discussed the issue at length over the years.

Council is considering erecting signs allowing only for parking for residents or permit holders on some borough roads, including Ninth Avenue.

Ninth Avenue resident Ronald Lapko requested the signs on Wednesday night because he said no parking spots are available for those living in the 400 block of E. Ninth Avenue.

“From Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. there is not one single place to park,” he said.

Lapko said his mother is ill and the nurse who visits to care for her can't find parking.

He brought photographs demonstrating how there are no parking spots Monday through Friday, but spaces are available for residents on Saturday and Sunday.

“We can definitely see you have a problem in that area,” council vice president Rob Falce said.

Lapko said one of his neighbors made his own “No Parking” signs and his vehicle was towed last summer due to those signs being posted on a building and a street pole.

Munhall police Chief Pat Campbell said those signs at Ninth Avenue and Dickson Street aren't authorized.

“The one time I was notified when you were on scene,” he said to Lapko. “I told him to drop that vehicle.”

“Yeah, my truck was on the flatbed,” Lapko said.

He said his van was towed a month before that, due to the signs. Campbell said he was unaware of that.

Council decided to have the sign on the borough pole removed, but can't touch the sign on the man's building.

Councilman Bernie Shields asked how residents were affected when metered parking was along Ninth Avenue.

“They gave us a sticker to put on our car,” Lapko said.

Campbell said his department was instructed by council months ago to no longer give out those stickers.

Councilman Dan Lloyd said the borough ordinance says Munhall has permits available for people who live and work on certain streets.

“It comes down to enforcement,” he said. “The problem is there's no enforcement. It wouldn't have to be every single day.”

Lloyd said on Wednesday morning there wasn't one car on McClure Street from Seventh to Twelfth avenues on the Homestead side of the street, but there wasn't a parking space available on the Munhall side of the street.

“This isn't rocket science,” he said. “They have someone who is going to tag you if you're in Homestead.”

Homestead has a parking authority and employs meter maids, but Munhall does not.

Lloyd suggested Munhall police tag vehicles without permits once a week.

“I'll do whatever you want to do,” Campbell said.

Eighth Avenue business owners Bill Miller, Donna Boyer and Sherlivia Murchison complained about the lack of parking spaces available for customers on Munhall's side of E. Eighth Avenue.

“My business and the other businesses on the Munhall side have nowhere for our customers to park,” Boyer said. “I hear over and over, ‘I'd like to come to your restaurant, but there's never anywhere to park.'” She said she believes people who work nearby park in the metered spots along Eighth Avenue all day. Boyer said Munhall did enforce parking for a short time and people got the hint for awhile.

Council talked about contracting with Homestead to have its meter maids also cover Munhall.

“I have to give Homestead some credit because I think they're doing something right,” Falce said. “They're not having the problem we are.”

Borough officials discussed the possibility of giving permit holders a visitor's pass for guests.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

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