Today, if you believe you've unjustly received a ticket from the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, contesting it means scheduling a hearing and a potentially hassle-filled trip Downtown to the Pittsburgh Parking Court to face a district judge.
But on Oct. 1, the parking authority will unveil a website that will allow drivers to contest their tickets online and receive the judgments by email and in the mail.
David Onorato, executive director of the authority, said the online appeals system came as a result of those who complained of the hassle of coming Downtown. For those who live out of state, contesting a ticket meant a costly trip back to the Steel City.
"They thought it was an inconvenience to come Downtown. We decided they were right."
Under the new system, those who want to contest their tickets will fill out a form explaining why they believe their citations were unfairly issued. They'll be allowed to attach photos to support their testimony, as well.
A district judge will review the materials and a judgment will be emailed and sent in the mail three to four weeks later.
Mr. Onorato said there's been an uptick in the number of people contesting tickets since the authority rolled out new parking kiosks last year to replace the meters for individual spaces. The kiosks require patrons to enter their license plate numbers, but if the number was incorrectly entered, the patron received a citation.
About six months ago, though, the Parking Authority changed the system so that a patron who transposed two characters on a license plate or simply omitted one was not issued a ticket. That led to a decline in the number of people who contested tickets.
The new website was developed by Duncan Solutions, which runs many of the operations for Pittsburgh Parking Court. Because the authority already has a contract with the company, it cost the authority nothing additional to develop the site.
Moriah Balingit: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2533. Twitter: @MoriahBee. First Published September 19, 2013 1:30 PM