Political Finger-Pointing Buys Pittsburgh Four Free Hours Of Parking

Since June, Pittsburghers have been issued tickets for expired meters until 10pm. On Tuesday, the city will begin the process of returning parking enforcement to the regular 6pm cutoff.  This sudden change comes as a result of a finger-pointing war between the mayor and Pittsburgh City Council that is nothing short of pure entertainment – albeit at the expense of the locals.

Your hard-earned money is in limbo

Remember how we were sold on the idea that the city needed to increase parking rates, and needed to issue tickets all night long? They said taking money from your pockets was necessary to help prop up the limping pension fund. Guess what? The extra revenue earned from those inconveniences has yet to be transferred to the city! It’s your time and money that is being wasted on a political power trip.

How to get from point A to point B

Pittsburgh City Council and the mayor need a quick reminder that they are nothing without the people who vote for them. Stop playing games with residents and businesses. Most Pittsburghers are forced to own a car or two, because Pittsburgh lacks a healthy public transportation system. The city is taking advantage of this necessity – which might very well be the reason why we will probably never see adequate bus lines or light rail.

Do these screw-ups come with a money back guarantee?

By bringing the enforcement time back to 6pm, are they admitting they made a mistake? With that should come a refund to anyone who received a parking ticket between the hours of 6pm – 10pm. And what about the cost of changing all the signs again?

Don’t get your hopes up

From a distance, it would appear that the return of the 6pm cutoff is for the benefit of Pittsburghers, but that assumption is wrong. After careful examination of the situation, it seems that the undoing of night-time parking enforcement only serves the purpose of warning the Parking Authority that they will not have the ability to earn extra revenue until they concede that forwarding those funds to the city is part of the deal (oh yeah, and installing meters that accept credit cards). While it looks like a nicely wrapped gift for we the people, the underlying motivation for the changes are for they the leaders.

After all, parking enforcement is only returning to the 6pm schedule until December 31, 2011. Who knows what will happen after that.

Parking meters outside of Mellon Institute

Parking meters outside of Mellon Institute (pic by yakk0dotorg)