PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Call it a mellow yellow Monday in Pittsburgh as the first work week out from under the stay-at-home order gets rolling.
But workers didn’t exactly flood back into their offices. It was more like a trickle. Market Square at noon and Fifth Avenue during the lunch hour had very little foot traffic.
Darrell Baldwin looked around and noted, “It’s an uncomfortable feeling. Pittsburgh is based on family values, closeness. It just seems like you’re not connected.”
Health leaders have encouraged businesses to allow their workers to continue to work from home, and that appears to be just want is happening.
Brad Jasin has been working all along and says there’s a very slight difference today: “A little bit up from last week and I would imagine those trends will continue as businesses put together a plan.”
“They grouped us off, ‘group a,’ ‘group b,’ and we’re only allowed in on certain days,” says Donna Fry who came back to work today at law firm Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote for the first time in a couple months.
“Feels good. It’s quiet though,” says Fry.
Walk into the Nicholas Coffee store in Market Square, and you won’t get far. A table has been set up near the entrance to sell coffee.
Gordon Nicholas says as more people return to town, he’ll open up the store, but for now, he’s focusing on safety: “Which is why I elected to stop it at halfway in and only allow one customer at a time.”
A lot of the traffic in and out of the downtown restaurants are runners for food delivery services like Erika Paty who was carrying her bright red DoorDash bag.
“I feel like a lot of people are still to scared to go outside and I think like this give them comfort that we’re able to leave the food on the door and not have any physical contact,” Paty says.
One thing that did return to downtown Pittsburgh were parking tickets.
Parking Authority Director David Onorato knows people are going to panic when they see enforcement returning which is why, “It’s only a warning for the first couple days.”
However, that is only for meter violations. If you park in a handicapped zone, on a fire hydrant or in a no parking zone, the tickets are immediate.
“Starting after Memorial Day we’ll do live tickets for meter enforcements downtown,” says Onorato.
Onorato says because food and other delivery services are in such demand, when you punch in the information on a parking kiosk, the first half-hour will be free.
The city says since parking meter enforcement was suspended when Pittsburgh was shutdown in mid-March, many vehicles stayed in parking spots the entire day, leading restaurants to complain that takeout customers couldn’t find spots.
Enforcement for now will only be in Downtown Pittsburgh. Onorato says they phase back in enforcement elsewhere as people come back to work and shop.