Regardless of how you answer that question, these are the facts. Shortly after my last blog post the parking meters on Oliver Avenue in front of Franktuary vanished. The stress level my business partner and I both experience when we have to park outside our store for a bit of time is noticeably diminished.

At least for now I don’t have to keep track of time in five minute increments, constantly wondering if I’ll need to interrupt the task at hand to round up a few more quarters to placate downtown’s insanely insatiable parking meters. Will those meters return? Probably. But perhaps the city will take advantage of the situation and install a credit card payment system on Oliver Avenue in the very near future instead. Such a system would make a street parking rate of $3 an hour far more palatable since the average driver would no longer have to make special arrangements to have a method of payment in hand.

Of course, as soon as credit cards are accepted the city will have a convenient excuse to further increase street parking rates so as to cover their newly incurred card processing fees. While there are certainly fees associated with accepting plastic, I have a hunch those fees won’t add up to anywhere near the price increase which we, the parkers, will be faced with when a new payment method is installed.

Anyway, I shouldn’t put the cart before the horse. Most of what I’ve written is pure speculation. It’s not beyond Pittsburgh officials to leave me pleasantly surprised. The point is that right now on Oliver Avenue between Wood and Smithfield Streets there are no parking meters and my life is just a little less complicated due to a respite from a system that entirely lacks common sense. Thank you, Magnus Rex!