Beleaguered car-laden visitors to Pittsburgh’s downtown district now have a reason to grin and bear the parking situation.

Last month, a blog post by Franktuary owner Tim Tobitsch about the sad state of parking meters outside his restaurant generated buzz across the Twitter-sphere.  Tobitsch was bemoaning the dozen quarters needed to plug a meter for 1 hour in the downtown area and the inability to pay with a credit card.

In response, the Franktuary team has thought up a positive attitude campaign to assist other parkers in their woes: Change You Can (Actually) Believe In.  The premise is blissfully simple: frazzled folks at the meters simply bring in their bills, and Franktuary staff give them quarters and a smile.  No purchase is necessary, however, the restaurant cannot guarantee that it will be able to accommodate the exchange of more than $200 worth of quarters in a day.

“We think this campaign just might change the entire attitude of parking everywhere,” posits Franktuary owner Megan Lindsey.  “All you ever see are hostile ‘No Change, No Bathrooms’ signs in restaurants, but we actually want people to come in and ask for quarters!  Heck, they can even use the loo.  They do have to wear shirts, however – that’s where we draw the line.”

The restaurant is quick to point out that its employees and owners have spent the last 7 years biking, walking, and riding the bus to work.  Much of the reason for that circumstance has to do with exorbitant parking fees downtown.  “We understand, though, that not everyone is able to get downtown without a car.  We have supplies to load regularly and have to drive at times.  On the days we do have a vehicle, more often than not, we find ourselves parking in another neighborhood and returning to our store on foot.  It really is a challenging situation for small business owners with downtown storefronts.”

To see the blog that inspired Franktuary’s Change campaign, please visit https://franktuary.com/blog/2011/07/parking-a-rant/