The Bridgeville Parking Authority has rejected a request to allow free short-term parking in Bridgeville’s business district.
It’s just economically feasible, authority chairman Mike Connolly told council Monday night.
“As responsible people, we looked at your request for free parking, and none of the numbers add up,” he said.
The parking authority relies on revenues from meters, permits, and citations to maintain Bridgeville’s public parking lots. In the past, Connolly has expressed concern that dramatic changes to business district parking could put the authority’s budget into the red.
“We’re very frugal in what we do with our money,” he told council in March.
Mayor Pat DeBlasio and some councilmembers have been pressing the authority to revamp its revenue generation model to make Bridgeville more attractive to businesses and their customers.
Free short-term business district parking can help Bridgeville compete with larger, parking-rich communities like South Fayette and Collier. At the same time, the parking authority can make up for lost revenue by focusing on other parts of the borough, DeBlasio said.
During weekdays, some commuters dodge parking costs by simply leaving their on residential streets and walking an extra block or two to work. This isn’t a new problem. As long ago as 1993, borough officials were complaining about commuters turning Bridgeville streets into “free park-and-ride lots.”
Working with council, the authority could improve the situation for residents of those streets and people frequenting Bridgeville’s businesses, DeBlasio said, “But none of that can work with the system that we’ve relied on for 60 years. The world has changed around us. Let’s adjust a little bit.”