PITTSBURGH, PA (December 22, 2020) The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) has been awarded a grant valued at $100,000 for technical assistance from Automotus, a technology company focused on mobility equity solutions, to analyze, design and implement a strategy to improve curbside efficiency for short-term parking to help restaurants and small businesses.
In response to the pandemic, DOMI has been working with restaurants, small businesses and other community and business stakeholders to design strategies for the creative and operational use of sidewalks, on-street parking areas and streets to help businesses adapt to public health best practices while continuing to operate. As more businesses are offering curbside and takeout services, and with the widespread use of gig delivery services, small business and community stakeholders have expressed the need to develop a more efficient parking system for curbside and delivery services.
As part of the technical assistance grant, DOMI will work with Automotus to pilot short-term parking zones that would operate similar to loading zones with time limits that will help local restaurants and couriers ensure a speedy transaction. The zones will allow those picking up takeout to legally park near businesses, pick up their takeout and be on their way, which will also provide faster, consistent customer turnover for businesses.
Automotus offers technology that uses license plate reading cameras mounted on nearby poles to track in real time whenever a vehicle occupies a pilot zone. Vehicles parked in the zones will be charged by the minute, rather than being required to pay for larger time increments while they go to pick up the takeout. DOMI will be working directly with delivery companies, whom they anticipate will be the most common user.
DOMI hopes to launch the pilot zones in mid-2021 with direct input and consultation from stakeholders including the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, restaurant owners and food delivery companies to determine zone locations, rates and billing mechanisms.
As part of the technical assistance grant, DOMI has requested assistance in the following areas to plan the pilot:
DOMI plans to pilot the zones for most of 2021 with the possibility of iterating and adapting based on community feedback and needs.