PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Residential parking permits within the City of Pittsburgh could soon go high-tech.

Councilman Dan Gilman introduced a resolution Wednesday, asking the Parking Authority to start using license plate recognition technology for city residents.

The resolution would also allow residents to renew their parking permits online.

Right now, residents with active permits apply stickers to their windshield to show they have paid for a permit. But, the Parking Authority spends about $10,000 annually to print those stickers – plus extra money to mail them.

They also have to send out renewal notices and other mailings to residents.

“That costs us $10,000 to $20,000 a year to print and mail out those stickers,” says Councilman Gilman. “Meanwhile, we’re using technology at our meters where you can just drive by and pick up a license plate that hasn’t paid a meter. We should be doing the same thing for our permit stickers.”

The stickers themselves present some problems, too. Workers say they can be hard to see if cars are snow-covered, or if a vehicle’s windows are tinted.

Residents have also complained that they are difficult to remove.

“I just hate those stickers. They’re a dickens to get off every year,” said Linda Day, of East Liberty.

“So you think this idea of using better technology would be good?” asked KDKA’s Harold Hayes.

“I would certainly approve of that and welcome it heartily,” she said.

In Oakland, Pitt senior Sean Mack agreed.

“It’s a good program, but I think it would be a lot better if it was something automated so you didn’t have just stickers sticking on your window all the time and they’re hard to remove so they seem to stay there for a while.”

Councilman Gilman thinks the technology that credits your parking payment by way of your license plate will work.

Your license would reserve your space instead of the sticker system. Councilman Gilman has touched base with the Parking Authority.

“I got some positive feedback that it was A: very possible to do from a technology standpoint, and B: that they appreciated my interest in the issue and were willing to work with us to try to get this done this year,” said Gilman.

At this point, City Council is scheduled to take a preliminary look at all this beginning next week.

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