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Parking still problem with Plum VFD lot closed

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader
The Port Authority Park-n-Ride lot at the Holiday Park Fire Deparment site on Route 286 remains closed.

Parking continues to be a challenge for residents of the eastern suburbs who catch a bus along Route 286.

The park-and-ride lot owned by the Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department in Plum continues to be closed after nearly a year.

Also, a 64-space lot planned for the intersection of Route 286, or Golden Mile Highway, and New Texas Road also in Plum is expected to open in the spring, Port Authority spokeswoman Heather Pharo said.

Robin Schuster, president of the Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department's board of directors, said last week that the lot — adjacent to the fire station — will remain closed through the Christmas season.

Schuster said the lot is closed because work continues on the fire station expansion. Schuster said the project to build a two-story addition has resulted in about 45 fewer spaces in the lot. The lot previously had 110 spaces and it now has 65.

“The lot was closed for the safety of bus riders and the safety of the workers,” Schuster said.

Also, the annual Christmas tree sale in the lot is scheduled to start around Thanksgiving, Schuster said. The lot typically closes for a month during the tree sale.

Schuster said board members are expected within the next month to make a decision about reopening the lot.

If the lot reopens, Port Authority may assist with restriping it, Pharo said, even though the service is not one that Port Authority typically performs there. Pharo said Port Authority hires a contractor to plow snow from the lot.

Also, Pharo said more work needs to be done on the lot under construction at Route 286 and New Texas Road.

“We have to mill and excavate the existing pavement, construct the light pole bases, install conduit/wiring for the new lights, set the new light poles/fixtures, place the new asphalt pavement, make traffic signal modifications, paint the line striping and install landscaping,” she said.

Pharo said Port Authority plans to update bus riders on the park and ride lot situation on Route 286. “We're going to be placing update flyers on vehicles and in the shelters” at the Alpine Village park-and-ride lot in Monroeville, she said.

Pharo said the Alpine Village lot, with 245 spaces, is the main alternative to the Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department lot. Bus riders also can use a 140-space lot at Monroeville Mall.

Allegheny County residents account for use of about 42 percent of the parking spaces, and out-of-county residents use about 58 percent of spaces at both the Holiday Park and Alpine Village lots, according to a February 2012 Port Authority study.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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