Nearly everybody agrees that Bridgeville needs more parking spaces in its north end business district, near the Collier border.
Commercial parking lots in that part of town are tiny or non-existent, which leads visitors to park street-side, for free, on nearby St. Clair Street, much to the displeasure of residents who can’t find spots near their homes.
In recent years, borough council and the Bridgeville Parking Authority have investigated various remedies—such as permit-only parking—but to no avail.
This is an opportunity for Bridgeville’s planning commission to make the case for building a new public parking lot in the area.
“The planning commission could help by saying ‘You really want to put parking here because that will allow the community around that area to thrive,'” DeBlasio said during a recent meeting.
The seven-member planning commission recently launched an initiative to examine and prioritize 10 of the major public policy questions facing Bridgeville, including traffic, flooding, pedestrian safety, and parking.
Moving forward, the commission plans to gather more information from residents and other stakeholders, evaluate potential fixes. Although the planning commission doesn’t have the power to create or change local laws, it does make zoning and planning recommendations to other governing bodies.
In much of Bridgeville parking isn’t a pressing problem, but in a few areas where business districts border residential neighborhoods—like on St. Clair Street or Hickman Street—spillover parking has been an ongoing nuisance to residents.
Introducing permit-parking-only zones in these problem areas may seem like an easy fix, but it’s a balancing act that’s more difficult than it sounds, said council president William Henderson.
“We were trying to establish something on St. Clair Street,” he said. “The problem was creating an ordinance that didn’t punish the the residents as well. We were knee deep into looking into permitting that area. Do you give them two vehicle [permits], three vehicles?”
Acquiring land for a new public parking lot is far more expensive that issuing a few parking permit stickers, but DeBlasio believes the effects of expanding parking will benefit nearby businesses and the community as a whole.