PITTSBURGH — Some Pittsburghers are being ticketed or warned not to park in their own driveways under an obscure ordinance that requires them to pay $225 for a permit if they wish to park within 30 feet of a street.
Some residents have complained about the tickets and warnings, which are issued by the city’s Bureau of Building Inspection.
The agency is caught in the middle, contend John Jennings, its acting chief.
The bureau doesn’t issue tickets unless residents complain and, often, those complaints aren’t prompted by people who park in driveways but by those who create cement or gravel parking pads in front of their homes.
Those pads are often closer than 30 feet to the street, dug out of people’s front yards, and used to park larger commercial vehicles, which some residents consider eyesores.
“That is not the neighborhood we want,” said Steven Hawkins, a member of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. The nonprofit neighborhood group opposes parking pads.
But City Councilman Corey O’Connor and Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith are hoping to change the seldom-enforced, little-known ordinance to prevent people from being ticketed for parking in their own driveways.
Eileen Freeman, 45, said she and her husband parked in their driveway for 18 years before they were warned about a possible fine. The couple can’t park far enough into their driveway to be 30 feet from the street because the space between their house and the neighbor’s is too narrow at that point.
Instead, the Freedmans are parking on the street, taking up space someone might otherwise want to use to patronize nearby businesses, she said.
“It’s ridiculous and it doesn’t make our city look very smart,” Freedman said.