Pittsburgh may adjust Oakland parking meter rates

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Parking meter rates in a part of Oakland could fall next year under a pilot project aimed at achieving the right balance between price and demand.

Councilman Bill Peduto said he hopes the year-long pilot project will be the first step in creating a "dynamic pricing" system in which the cost of parking varies by time of day or day of the week.

Mr. Peduto today introduced legislation authorizing the study with the parking authority, Carnegie Mellon University and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Right now, motorists pay $2 an hour for on-street parking in that area. Mark Fichman, CMU associate professor of organizational behavior and theory, said he noted a lot of empty spaces after rates went up early this year.

The study, which he will help lead, will adjust rates monthly until the price is low enough to generate a steady 80 percent utilization of on-street parking spaces. On some streets, he said, the rate could fall from $2 to $1.

Mr. Peduto said the study should generate data to help him fulfill a longer-term goal -- pricing that fluctuates based on demand at different times of the day or days of the week.

"I am excited to see the results of this study and to take what we learn and apply it to other parts of the city," Mr. Peduto said in a statement.

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Joe Smydo: jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.


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