Parking Privatization Idea Has Pittsburgh Officials Seeing Green

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is considering a plan to raise extra money for his city by leasing public parking spaces and garages to a private company.

"'We're going to need some sort of influx of cash,' the mayor said of the fund, which at last count contained just $261 million of the $899 million it should ideally hold. 'I have been approached numerous times about the value of these assets,' he said of the parking garages, and now he wants to test the market."

"'I think it's really an interesting idea,' said Controller Michael Lamb, who, like the mayor, sits on the Pension Fund Board. 'It's something that we, at the very least, should learn about and find out what kind of interest there is and what kind of funding it could generate.'"

"The potential downside: Parking rates could rise, though that might be constrained by whatever contract emerges, Mr. Ravenstahl said."

Full Story: Ravenstahl wants to turn parking into pensions



Kudos To Mayor Ravenstahl For His Iconoclastic Thinking

I think privatizing the public garages to restore Pittsburgh's pension fund is a brilliant idea. Here's a similar thought: Let's privatize the U.S. Postal Service and use the proceeds to help fund social security. Obama, if you are reading this, let me know what you think.

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