Over the past few weeks I’ve been ticketed twice in Downtown Pittsburgh. I guess I’ll admit that I deserved them both. There were extenuating circumstances, and I’ve petitioned for my day in court. But I’ve asked myself, “Why did this happen?” Do the officers have a prejudice against Roman Catholics? Maybe small-town mayors? Both times I was parked on Third Avenue and had gone into St. Mary of Mercy to attend Mass. The officers certainly didn’t take mercy on me!
I’ll tell only one tale. Last Saturday afternoon I parked at 4:55 p.m. for 5 o’clock Mass. There were no other cars around, it was pouring rain and I didn’t see a “pay machine.” After an inspiring liturgy I exited to find a $30 ticket on my window. I was greatly relieved, as the previous week the ticket was for $97.50.
Anyway, we drove off and paid to park at the outdoor lot on Fort Duquesne Boulevard. We enjoyed dinner at Nine on Nine and then attended “Triple Play” at Heinz Hall. The symphony was fantastic. Of course we paid parking tax, city tax, amusement tax, tax on our cocktails and sales tax on dinner! Not an inexpensive evening, but it was a fantastic outing in our beautiful city.
Let’s encourage people who live in the suburbs to venture into the city and spend their money. Nuisance parking citations will not encourage citizens of Allegheny County to enjoy nightlife in Downtown Pittsburgh!
PAUL H. McKENNA