(PITTSBURGH) Jan. 15, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today, joined by City public safety officials, announced an aggressive enforcement blitz to restore safety to the South Side business district and nearby residential area. The announcement follows a year-long study by the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) that brought together residents, business owners, community stakeholders and government leaders to identify and propose quality of life and safety recommendations. While the study looked at strategies to improve all City business districts with a nighttime economy, the Mayor directed City efforts to be focused immediately at restoring civility to the South Side.
“It is clear that we need an all-hands-on-deck strategy to restore safety to the South Side neighborhood,” Ravenstahl said. “This study has great recommendations that will improve certain aspects of the South Side, such as enhanced cooperation among bar and restaurant owners and plans to improve parking and transportation. These strategies, and others, will ultimately lessen the burden on our public safety officers, but we must take action now to restore order to this neighborhood. ”
The short-term solution to improving the quality of life for South Side residents involves an aggressive approach to public safety. Beginning this Friday, the Mayor’s strategy will increase the deployment of building inspectors and firefighters who will crack down on overcrowded bars that are violating the building code. In addition, “alleyway” saturation patrols will cite for disorderly conduct, such as public drunkenness and urination. Roving DUI patrols and towing enforcement will also be increased. Lastly, public works crews will increase litter pick-ups and trash removal. The Mayor and safety officials will meet with bar owners this week to inform them of the enforcement blitz.
“I have directed my public safety chiefs to continue this enforcement blitz for as long as it takes to restore the quality of life that each and every Pittsburgh resident deserves,” Ravenstahl said. “This will not be a once in a while tactic. Every weekend, we will have this ramped up enforcement. If you go to the South Side and take part in any illegal activity, chances are you will be cited or arrested.”
In addition to this blitz, other mid- and long-term recommendations of the study, officially called The Pittsburgh Sociable City Plan, will be implemented that will ultimately lessen the need for aggressive enforcement. The Mayor has charged the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to develop an enhanced training program for officers who will specifically deal with the nighttime management of entertainment destinations. Through the Sociable City Plan, the City is conducting meetings to focus on how to adapt parking systems to meet nighttime demand, support services required for security and enforcement, and enhance revenue. The goal is to encourage employees and patrons to use remote parking areas with shuttle services in order to free up neighborhood parking space for residents. One proposed plan is to utilize the parking area near the 10th Street Bridge as a pilot location for remote parking.
In addition, Councilman Bruce Kraus and RHI will partner with UPMC, Dollar Bank and local universities to develop a social marketing campaign that addresses patron personal accountability and public behavior.
Since the study was launched last April, the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association was formed, and enhanced communication has taken place between police and bar owners. More than 200 stakeholders, representing 17 governmental departments and agencies, 47 businesses, 20 community groups and several universities , have attended strategic meetings leading to the formation of the Plan.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687