Parking: a quick reminder

Washington Road construction /Photo: Judy Macoskey

As work continues on the Vibrant Uptown streetscape project, shoppers, shop owners, walkers, drivers, cyclists and just about everyone else have been remarkably patient in navigating the construction-related obstacles. The Mt. Lebanon Police Department is asking for that patience to go a bit further.

The department’s traffic services unit would like to remind drivers of the parking restrictions on Washington Road. During the afternoon rush hour, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., parking is prohibited on the west side of the street (same side as the municipal building) from McFarland Road to Shady Drive West, and from 728 Washington to the southern municipal border, past The Galleria.

In the morning, from 6 to 10, parking is prohibited on the east side of the street from Castle Shannon Boulevard to the southern border, although this restriction is lifted on Sundays. The same rules apply to parking from Shady Drive East to the northern municipal border.

Parking time is limited to two hours per vehicle on the west side of the street from the northern border to Shady Drive East between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The same limit is in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the east side of the street.

From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., parking time is limited to two hours on the west side of the street from 728 Washington to Lebanon Avenue, and on the west side from Bower Hill Road to 420 Washington.

In an effort to promote the use of Mt. Lebanon’s north and south parking garages, for longer visits to the central business district, the municipality has retooled its parking rates.

Cost for the north and south garages is $1.50 for one hour, $2.50 for two hours and $3.50 for three hours. Washington Road meters are $1 for the first hour, $4 for the second hour and $6 for the third hour, so parking for a three-hour trip to Washington Road would cost $3.50 in the garage and more than triple that price for on-street parking. Weekend parking in the garages is $1 Saturdays until 6 p.m., and is free on Sunday.

Turning the street spaces over quickly allows more people to access nearby parking for quick trips and short errands.

While we are on the subject, police are stepping up enforcement of overnight parking rules, which the municipality changed last year.

Mt. Lebanon prohibits overnight parking between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. Streets free of parked cars at night allow fire, police and medical rescue teams to respond more quickly. During snow and ice events, snowplows are able to work at night without damaging or blocking in vehicles. In the past, residents who needed to park on the street overnight would need to call the police and request permission. Now, the ordinance grants 20 overnight parking permissions per year per license plate. The addition of automated license plate readers in patrol cars has made it easier for police to monitor the situation.

If you live in a part of town that does not have off-street parking or public parking lots within a tenth of a mile from your home, you can apply for a permit parking zone, which would permit on-street overnight parking, (except when an inch or more of snow or ice is forecast), for a fee of $150 for six months. For an area to be considered for the zone, a majority of owners of the property abutting the zone must request it. Requests for the creation of a permit parking zone must be submitted, with proof of residency. You can apply for a permit at the municipality’s parking portal.

You can also apply for special permit parking spaces, which can be granted for up to two license plates per home. The same permissions and costs associated with permit parking zones apply. Special permit parking spaces will only be authorized for a year at most, but residents can reapply when the time has expired. The parking enforcement supervisor will review all requests for approval and make recommendations to the municipal manager. As with the permit parking zones, this permit will not allow cars to be parked on the street when an inch or more of ice or snow is forecast.

Finally, we’re a good bit away from leaf pickup and snow and ice season, but the public works department would like us all to try not to park on the streets while the trucks and the plows are making their rounds.