PARKING CRUNCH TO EASE To say the improvements coming to Beverly Road area parking are well thought-out would be an understatement.
Mt. Lebanon has taken three years, a parking study, an ad hoc committee, several public meetings, conversations with business owners and lots of engineering to solve a problem: Beverly Road needs more parking for business patrons, residents and employees.
Now, an answer is on the way: the Overlook parking lot will be slightly reconfigured to add eight additional spaces. At the same time, the meters will be retired and the municipality will add two pay-by-plate stations, much like the ones at the Academy Avenue parking lot and the South Lot across from Washington School. Parkers also will be able to pay using the Passport app on their phones.
The topic amped up after the commissioners’ 2019 priorities-setting retreat, when the issue bubbled to the top five list. Public Works Director Rudy Sukal and Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron were the staff members in charge of the project. But it had been on the docket since 2016, when Environmental Planning and Design conducted an $18,000 study to look at ways to ease the problem.
The parking crunch in the corridor was worst at lunchtime on weekdays, and on Friday and Saturday evenings. Drivers could park at one of 48 metered spaces in the Overlook Lot, or in metered spaces on the street on Beverly Road, Ralston Place and Overlook Drive. The study concluded that there was always a place in those paid spaces to park. Yet residents who spoke at public meetings said parkers in search of free spaces often blocked their driveways or parked on the street all day.
The study suggested several solutions, including changing traffic patterns in the area. In the end, after recommendations from the traffic and parking boards, the commissioners chose to add spaces to the Overlook Lot.
In addition to removing the meters and adding the pay stations, the overhaul will include changing the parking from slanted to straight orientation, removing curbing, improving drainage, installation of handicap accessible spaces, relocation of the light poles, repaving and restriping the lot and adding landscaping.
At press time, the timeline is yet to be determined, but the project is slated for 2020. The budget is $166,310, and money will come from the municipal parking fund, which reinvests revenue collected from meters and garages to improve parking.
BUSINESS BOOST Look for more hyperlocal ads in your news feeds this year and, if you’re a business owner, you may be able to get some free advice on building your brand.
The Mt. Lebanon Partnership will be receiving tech help from Google in the form of a Google Ad Grant, a free service the company provides for qualifying nonprofits. Google places a value of $10,000 a month on the services, and the grant goes on indefinitely, says partnership board member Chris Reidenbaugh. The Partnership is the executor of the grant, which includes email storage, access to Google Analytics, ads that promote awareness of the Partnership and Mt. Lebanon businesses, and alerts to readers about events uptown, at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon.
In addition to the online boost, the grant will provide seminars, tailored for small businesses, from the Grow With Google series, beginning in February. Learn more at mtlebopartnership.org .
SENSE & SUSTAINABILITY
New year! New stuff! Some tips on disposing of old electronics and appliances:
Be sure to dispose of appliances properly, as most electronic parts and freon containers cannot go in a landfill. Learn where to dispose of items like refrigerators, computers, TVs and batteries at the Pennsylvania Resource Council’s website, prc.org .
If your used appliances still have life, consider donating them to Construction Junction, Habitat for Humanity ReStore or Appliance Warehouse.
Be sure to recycle all cardboard boxes.
Appliance Warehouse, 20 South Sixth Street, Southside, will take your Styrofoam packing.