Saturday, March 20, 2010

Harris Wants to Boost Parking Fines

There's another proposal to help bolster the city of Pittsburgh's underfunded pension obligations. Council President Darlene Harris wants to increase fines for parking violations. Council members Patrick Dowd, Bruce Kraus, Bill Peduto, Natalia Rudiak and Doug Shields are co-sponsoring the measure that would increase fines for expired on-street meter in the downtown and Oakland sections of the city from the current $16 to $30, and for expired on-street meters elsewhere from $11 to $20. The fines for parking too close to an intersection or fire hydrant would rise from $15 to $25. Harris says parking fines have not gone up in 2 decades and the change could bring in an additional $2 million this year and and extra $5 million annually after that.
Harris' measure comes as council considers competing plans to get an infusion of cash into the pension fund to get it to the state-mandated 50% level by next January. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl wants to lease the city parking garages for 50 years; Dowd and City Controller Michael Lamb have suggested transferring some of the assets of the Parking Authority directly to the pension fund; and, Harris has proposed floating bonds based on future parking revenue.

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