In August, East Liberty Development, Inc. held their Circulation & Mobility Public Kickoff event to give the public a chance to voice their vision on how to make East Liberty a better place to “walk, roll, bike, bus, drive and park.” They’re looking for ongoing public participation in the planning processes for improving parking, walkability, and accessibility by holding a series of workshops. Each will be held at the Carnegie Library – East Liberty (130 S. Whitfield Street) from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. A light dinner will also be served at each event.
Pennsylvania state law requires PennDOT to prepare an update to Pennsylvania’s Twelve Year Transportation Program every two years and submit it to the Pa. State Transportation Commission (STC). It’s then sent to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Secretary of Transportation. The purpose of the program is to evaluate the condition of our transportation system and create a blueprint of prioritized transportation projects in order to ensure economic development throughout our state.
According to the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA), over 100,000 pedestrians and 75,000 vehicles travel through Oakland each and every day. OTMA’s mission is to create a better and safer transportation environment for those who visit, work, and live in the Oakland area by decreasing the amount of people using single occupancy vehicles, supporting the use of public transit, and encouraging walking and cycling.
Next year will see the start of Pittsburgh’s first bike-share program with 500 bikes available at 50 stations. This will mean even more people of varying abilities will be sharing the road with automotive drivers. CyclingSavvy is a workshop created to make confident and competent cyclists to establish Pittsburgh as a safe and bike-friendly city. The program works to change the belief patterns and behaviors of cyclists by using innovative and modern teaching techniques.
Traveling over many Pennsylvania bridges, one becomes acutely aware that we have some serious infrastructure problems in this state. In fact, with 4,000+, PA comes in number one in having the most structurally deficient state-owned bridges in the nation. Worst of all, this problem is only going to get worse.
East Liberty has made great strides since a well-intentioned–but ultimately destructive–urban renewal program in the 1960s disrupted the urban grid and created the opposite of the desired effect to attract more people to businesses in the district. The first community plan, A Vision for East Liberty, was produced in 1999 to try to repair the damage done. Its success has led to the 2010 East Liberty Community Plan and the 2012 East Liberty Circulation & Mobility Vision.
Tomorrow will see the start of The Statewide Conference on Heritage in Downtown Pittsburgh. Our city has a wealth of well-preserved building, historic bridges and a storied industrial past which makes it a perfect setting for a conference which focuses on the preservation of Pennsylvania’s heritage. It’s being held at the historic William Penn Hotel and runs from Tuesday, July 16 through Friday, July 19.
Sustainable communities are places which have a variety of housing and transportation options. They’re communities where people don’t need to rely on cars because they can easily walk or use public transportation to go to work, to shop, to visit a doctor or to enjoy a show or eat out. They are greener by their very nature — reducing pollution by reducing the need for cars. And their emphasis on a mixture of housing options allow residents at all income levels to enjoy the benefits of living in these communities.
The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) is a coalition of nonprofit community groups and their partners dedicated to revitalizing urban neighborhoods. Part of their mission is prioritizing investment in transit infrastructure and bringing the community into transportation planning. GoBurgh is their initiative to bring the community voice into the planning process. Their primary goal is to make transit-oriented development a priority in our region and to develop innovative sources for funding it.
Times have not been easy for those who rely on public transportation. Cuts to routes and fare increases have a direct and immediate effect on their quality of life and their pocketbook. But, the effect is far more reaching than that. Reliable, affordable and safe mass transit is crucial to the health and growth of any city. It is a top consideration among those who are are deciding to move or stay in a region. It lessons traffic congestion, provides environmental benefits and is vital to the economic growth of metropolitan areas.