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July 20, 1995


About those hang tags

To the editor:

I know it is a good idea to bring costs down. Parking costs are HIGH, TOO HIGH. But why would the University of Pittsburgh make a hang tag BIGGER than any hang tag I have ever seen?? Yes, now we can keep the tag for five years and help keep costs down. The old hang tags were too thin, they had a tendency to be blown from the vehicles when both doors were open.

Maybe, if they make the tag big enough, people will take it down (like they should), when they are driving and forget to put it back up. (You get three mistakes like this and then it starts to cost you. Parking then can make more money.) Or maybe, people will not take down the parking hang tag (they forgot to put it back up too many times), and they can have a automobile accident because it now is sooo big, it blocks your view when driving.

Or maybe, now that the tags are bigger, they can hire older people, say like 80 to 90 years of age, pay them less — they may have bad eyesight — and they can check parking hang tags without getting out of their Pitt parking vehicles. That would save money also.

Or maybe, now that the tags are so big, they can buy a helicopter for parking and check all the lots from the air. Good excuse to buy a new toy.

If the University of Pittsburgh Parking and Transportation was looking to save money why not use the same size hang tag with the sticker system used on the new bigger hang tags? It would be a lot safer.

If you have not figured out what I am trying to tell you, I will make it simpler.


Richard R. Colwell

Staff member, School of Engineering and Vice President Steering, Staff Association Council


G. Robert Harkins, director of the Office of Parking and Transportation, responds:

We have received many comments, both pro and con, concerning the size of the new parking permits. Yes, they are big, and sturdy, and brightly colored. The permits are also less expensive since they were manufactured to last five years and we won't be ordering new permits every year. Approximately 80 percent of our permit parkers remain stable year after year, and do not require a new permit annually. The heavier gauge plastic will not bend in the hot sun, and will not as easily slip off of the mirror and fly out of an open window.

In addition to the yearly renewal sticker, this hang tag allows for the prominent display of stickers in the shape of a key, which identifies carpools, and a sticker which designates parkers with disabilities. The previous hang tag size did not offer this flexibility.

Our parking enforcement assistants do agree that the size is ideal for readily identifying parkers without a hang tag, or for identifying permit parkers using a lot that is not their own. I also believe that identifying lost, stolen or counterfeit permits will be much easier with our new hang tag.

Given the number of parking spaces operated or used by the University (4,616) and the number of full-time faculty and staff at this campus (7,857), along with numerous others vying for parking spaces in Oakland, enforcement is a necessary tool for insuring that our permit parkers receive every benefit we can give them (among others, designated carpool spaces, handicapped parking spaces, parking in their assigned lot).

All of the permit parkers who have contacted the department to comment about the size of the permit have been pleased to know that parking operations is keeping their monthly parking cost among the lowest in Oakland. We in the Department of Parking and Transportation will continue to implement cost-saving initiatives for the benefit of our parkers, visitors and students. We are interested in your ideas; call 624-4034, fax 648-2200, E-mail Parking, or use our feedback form on PittInfo to let us know about your concerns.

In closing, let me remind all permit parkers that under Pennsylvania law it has always been illegal to operate your vehicle with the permit hanging from the inside rearview mirror.

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