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Pittsburgh parking tickets could soon arrive in mailboxes

Pittsburgh parking tickets could come by mail in the future
Pittsburgh parking tickets could come by mail in the future 02:07

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People who park illegally in Pittsburgh could soon be surprised by a ticket in the mail. 

If you've parked in Pittsburgh, you probably know what it feels like to find a ticket tucked under your vehicle's windshield wiper. 

"We got one today, literally just over there," said Morgan Doolittle, who was parking on the South Side on Friday.

"So many, so many, and I can be here for an hour talking about how many tickets I've had," said Reign Ramirez, a South Side resident.

But how would you feel if that ticket showed up in your mailbox a few days later? A bill introduced at Pittsburgh City Council this week would allow the Pittsburgh Parking Authority to send tickets through the mail.

"I don't know if that would work for me. I don't always get my mail," Ramirez said.

In some neighborhoods like the South Side, you're lucky if you find street parking during busy times of the day. Pittsburgh City Councilperson Bob Charland said stronger enforcement is desperately needed there.

"In the South Side, right now, we have to have a police escort for the parking enforcement agents coming through. That is a very inefficient process," Charland said.

He said with the police force being understaffed, that means they're getting less enforcement on the South Side. 

Charland said people visiting Carson Street businesses often park illegally in the residential parking permit areas. 

"My hope is that with this bill, this will allow the enforcement agents to feel comfortable going, enforcing in the South Side. They don't have to leave the car, send the tickets at the end of the night, have the mail go to folks in violation," Charland said.

David Onorato, executive director of Pittsburgh Parking Authority, told KDKA-TV that it will never be solely ticket by mail, so putting paper tickets on vehicles will still be an option for its officers. He said mail ticketing would be introduced incrementally. 

He also said mail ticketing will let the short-staffed parking authority cover more ground.

Some people want this change to be put in drive, while others want it to stay in park.

"I wouldn't be able to justify why I got the ticket if I'm looking at it in a letter a few days later, versus ... sending it to me later. I don't know what I was doing three days ago," said Ramirez.

"I mean, either way, you're going to have to pay it," Doolittle said.

Charland said this is something the authority has been calling for since 2021. He said the parking authority already has the authority to do this but wanted to make sure Pittsburgh City Council signs off on this legislation.

"Just park legally and you won't have an issue," Charland said.

The bill will be discussed next Wednesday and then the council could vote on it the following Tuesday.

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