Image from the press conference. Courtesy of Markowitz Communications.

In the last decade, the Strip District’s emergence as a hub for cutting-edge tech companies has created a boom in new construction. Dozens of apartments, offices and other amenities are sprouting up, and many, many more are in the pipeline.

But while a growing chorus of Strip stakeholders has raised important concerns about the strain on local infrastructure and the impact of traffic, one tech company has been gathering data that may help battle the problem.

The city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure partnered with local geo-analytics startup Allvision to study the neighborhood’s parking needs. At an event today in the Strip, Allvision, Mayor Peduto and Pittsburgh Parking Authority Executive Director David Onorato announced the completion of the monthlong study.

As a result, the city now has “an aggregated and zoomable graphical overview of which streets are over- and under-utilized from a parking perspective, as well as a way to easily visualize where violations have taken place,” according to an announcement about the project.

Speaking to the assembled media, Mayor Peduto said information gleaned from the study will inform policy decisions on every mode of transport that might look to park in the Strip, whether it be cars, scooters or bicycles.

“We want to make sure that our system of roadways in this neighborhood is there for any mode of transportation,” Peduto said.

Using the same laser-mapping technology found on self-driving cars, Allvision — founded in the Strip District 18-months ago — creates real-time, data-rich maps of urban environments. Their modular sensor unit, mounted on the roof of a car, was designed in collaboration with Kaarta, a tech startup based in Oakland.

The Strip District study, which mapped Penn Avenue and Smallman Street from 16th to 25th streets, will play a key role in future civic planning, Onorato said.

“We’re not sure what that’s going to be or how it’s going to look,” he said, but the data will be essential for future planning.

“We are in the Strip District, probably one of Pittsburgh’s most notorious parking issue havens,” said Allvision CEO Aaron Morris.

Now that “there’s more need for this precious real estate,” Morris said, addressing the issue of parking is more vital than ever.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.