One of the biggest complaints that I hear for not going to downtown Pittsburgh for events is that you can’t find parking. Now thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and various partners including Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Initiative, there’s an app for that!. ParkPgh, which was launched in 2011, enables you to find parking spaces in the 10 parking lots that populate the Cultural District. The lots combined offer more than 5,000 spaces, roughly 25% of all parking in downtown Pittsburgh.
You can access the information in ParkPgh several ways. Try the web site http://parkpgh.org, Select the Cultural District destination from the drop down menu and it will show you the closest parking lots and how many spaces are available. It will also show using color codes if a lot has reached capacity, approaching capacity or what percentage of the lot is available. If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad then you can get the app from the App Store. If you have an android phone select http://m.parkpgh.org and get the mobile site. If you want, you can text “parking” to 412-423-8980 (standard message rates apply) to get a list of garages. The website also has a list of shortcuts for getting the information via text. Finally, you can phone 412-423-8980 and follow the commands to get the latest parking information.
Not only can ParkPgh give current information, but it can also tell you when it expects a bump in parking lot usage in certain lots. For example when there are multiple events going on such as the Pittsburgh Symphony performing at Heinz Hall and a play at the O’Reilly Theater on the same evening would certainly mean a crowded parking situation. If you have the information ahead of time, you can avoid the busier lots. This ability to predict the future usage is unique among other parking programs.
Since I downloaded the app to my cell phone, I have used it several times to find parking in the Cultural District. It was easy to use, and knowing what lots were more available than others saved time and attitude. It would be wonderful it this program was expanded to other city parking lots.
Mary Pam Kilgore,CMP, helps corporations and nonprofit organizations serve their target market with effective meetings and events. She is the owner of Kilgore Business Services, LLC, www.kilgorebusiness.com and teaches Event Planning As A Career at CCAC. She may be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo from daveynin