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Margaret Morrison meter restricts campus parking options

Parking on Margaret Morrison Street, which was previously free, now costs $2 per hour between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, with a 10-hour limit. Parking remains free and unlimited on Sundays. (credit: Jonathan Carreon/Photo Editor) Parking on Margaret Morrison Street, which was previously free, now costs $2 per hour between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, with a 10-hour limit. Parking remains free and unlimited on Sundays. (credit: Jonathan Carreon/Photo Editor)

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority has announced that parking on Margaret Morrison Street will now be metered, requiring money from those wishing to park.

Previously, cars could be parked on the street without cost or time limit. Now there is a central meter machine for the street — it costs $2 per hour with a 10-hour time limit. The parking hours are between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Parking remains free on Sundays, and on all other days after 6 p.m. and before 8 a.m.

According to the Carnegie Mellon parking website, meters are monitored by Carnegie Mellon Police Monday through Friday, and by city police on Saturdays.

Michelle Porter, director of Parking & Transportation Services, said, “We really never had control over the actual street.”

Porter explained that Margaret Morrison was always a city street, and that “the university had an agreement many years ago,” before she was part of Parking & Transportation services.

“The decision was made by the city council and the parking authority to meter the street,” Porter said.

David Onorato, executive director for the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, said that metered parking was put in place after the parking authority “did a field study, in which we went to every street because we were going away from single space meters to the new technology.”

Onorato emphasized that it is within the city’s right to meter parking. “We communicated with Carnegie Mellon Parking,” Onorato said. “The street was always under city authority.”

Porter said that there have not been many negative effects due to the change.

“We haven’t heard of too many problems,” Porter said. However, she said that the change did have a “large effect” on Carnegie Mellon parking.

Porter explained that before Margret Morrison became metered, students used to leave their cars there “for days on end.”

Now, students are searching for alternative locations on campus to park their vehicles. “This puts a damper on our parking systems,” Porter said.

According to Onorato, with metered prices in effect, the demand for parking spaces on Margaret Morrison street will decrease. This will open up the road for more accessible parking.

“We are doing this to create available parking for as many people as possible,” Onorato said. He added, “Price is controlled to dictate parking spaces.”

Multiple professors from the Tepper School of Business, whose building is adjacent to Margaret Morrison street, were approached for comment regarding the recent parking changes — but none stated that they parked there regularly, and thus were unaffected by this new metering.

Alex Gerber, a sophomore economics and math major, said, “I think it’s a minor inconvenience. The number of cars parking on Margaret Morrison will diminish.”

Gerber added, “You might as well park your car in Schenley Park and walk.”