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Council Gives Preliminary Approval For New Parking Ordinance

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- For the first time ever, Pittsburgh is a step closer to an ordinance that would govern valet parking procedures.

The issue got renewed attention recently when customers visiting Market Square establishments found that their cars had been towed after they parked in what they thought were legal parking spaces.

Turns out, the spaces were reserved for valet services.

The sponsor of the bill, Councilman Daniel Lavelle, says it's time to deal with the issue beyond just Market Square.

"Pittsburgh has never had a valet parking ordinance on its books. We just sort of had a handshake agreement," said Lavelle. "What this does is it actually creates a process whereby valet parking operators actually have to have a license to operate the valet service.
This also dictates the operating procedures for them to be able to park cars appropriately as well as installs penalties should they not be operating legally within city laws."

The bill also requires proof of insurance and damage liability for valet parking operators, as well.

"What many were doing were taking public parking spots for their valet service as well as well as not actually parking the cars in parking garages as opposed to they were just taking them around the corner parking them on the streets," he said. "This now makes that illegal.

They now have to have a legal agreement in place to provide off-street parking for the businesses that they serve. They will only be allowed to take up two metered spaces to operate their valet service except in extreme situations such as Market Square where they may be allowed up to four because of the tight quarters."

One other aspect of this new law - if you entrust your car to a valet and they park it illegally and you get a ticket, the valet is responsible for the ticket.

Council gave unanimous preliminary approval to the bill. The final vote is scheduled for next week.

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