Parking will be free at city-owned meters on Saturday, thanks to a resolution rushed through Pittsburgh City Council on Monday.
Councilman Bill Peduto said his bill suspends enforcement of parking meters all day on Saturday, in honor of Small Business Saturday. Peduto said it's a way to help Pittsburgh's neighborhood business districts attract shoppers just after the corporate marketing push of Black Friday.
"There's still a shopping season, and the Saturday after Black Friday really is a time to look back and say, 'Hey, look at the unique products that are being offered within our own little business districts, our neighborhood business districts that survive mainly by people who not only run the cash register but own the shop itself,'" said Peduto.
In addition to the free metered parking this Saturday, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority is also offering free downtown garage parking every Saturday from November 17 through December 22. Peduto said the PPA hasn't reported the cost of the free parking days for garages or meters, so it's unclear how much this Saturday's program will cost.
"We really don't know what the exact number will be, but it's small, in essence, compared to what we're doing for downtown," said Peduto. "To be honest with you, we owe it to the neighborhood business districts if we are doing it for downtown."
Peduto said many small shops in the city will be holding special sales and events in honor of Small Business Saturday. This will be the second year in a row that Council has ordered free metered parking to mark the occasion.