Mt. Lebanon has long prohibited on-street parking from 2 to 6 a.m., to allow for faster response for emergency vehicles and easier access for public works snowplows during nighttime snowstorms. Residents could request exceptions to the prohibition on a case-by-case basis, in case of overnight guests or other special circumstances. In the past, when a resident received permission to park overnight, their license plate number was added to a list, which was the responsibility of police patrol officers to maintain and verify.
Since the municipality made it possible for residents to request overnight parking permission online, instead of by phone, requests quintupled, from about 60 to about 300 per night. In addition to clogging the streets, the jump in overnight parking began taking a toll on the patrol officers’ workload, as they now had to work through a list of hundreds of vehicles, which took time away from other duties.
In response to this increase, the Mt. Lebanon Commission revised the municipality’s parking ordinance this spring. The changes go into effect on October 1.
The new ordinance allows for overnight parking for 20 nights per year per license plate, a number that corresponds to the fact that more than 90 percent of residents requesting overnight parking requested it 20 or fewer times a year.
One thing that remains unchanged is that no requests will be granted if there is an inch or more of snow or ice forecast for the night.
The ordinance includes a couple of options for residents who don’t have parking available on their property: In areas where there is no public parking or suitable off-street parking within a tenth of a mile, residents can apply for permit parking zones in areas approved by the municipality. Also, under special circumstances, Mt. Lebanon can approve a special permit space for two-family or single-family homes for up to a year.