Traffic calming is a critical part of a complete streets approach to designing our streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes. Traffic calming can take a variety of forms and can be implemented on residential neighborhoods streets as well as in our busiest corridors around the city. The key is to take an approach that keeps everyone safe – from drivers, to pedestrians, to bicyclists – while keeping traffic flowing. Pittsburgh is an old city and many of our major thoroughfares were designed before modern traffic calming measures became commonplace, so we have some catch-up work to do to make sure that our streets are safe for everyone. The recent upticks in traffic incidents involving cyclists and pedestrians clearly mark the need for a more aggressive approach and we have the know-how and the partnerships to make it happen.
Today the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers endorsed Bill Peduto as the “Education Candidate.” PFT President Nina Esposito-Visigitis said, “the future of our schools and the future of our city are tied together.” The union interviewed all candidates for their endorsement. Additionally, Esposito-Visigitis said Peduto has supported their efforts and understands how the mayor can best support the school district. She was joined by retired teacher Deb Eutsler.
You can do virtually everything online in this day and age. From purchasing airplane tickets to depositing checks and everything in between, many services are migrating to the computer. I want to bring Pittsburgh into the digital age and allow citizens to access many city services and carry out many official functions online. This is particularly important when it comes to permitting related to the Department of Public Works or Building Inspection for home renovations, new construction, or sidewalk repairs, for example. I want to make it easier to invest in our neighborhoods by streamlining the application process, letting people apply for these permits online, and allowing payment via credit and debit card and wire transfer. There is no reason that one should have to go downtown and visit three different government offices with three different cashiers checks in order to obtain one simple permit. We can make government more user friendly just by bringing some common technology to bear on the process.
Pittsburgh is known around the world for the ingenuity of its people. We invented the polio vaccine, daylight savings time, even bingo! It’s time to bring that know-how to City Hall. I believe that Pittsburgh can be the city for creativity in government technology. We can be a pioneer for new ways of making our city work smarter, saving the taxpayers time and money in the process. Many of our city processes, from tax collection to filing for a permit, are stuck in the 1970s, yet Pittsburgh is full of companies and individuals that are inventing powerful new tools to increase efficiency. We need to start leveraging that innovation and bringing it to bear on how we operate as a city government.
The City of Pittsburgh is the population and economic center of Allegheny County and tens of thousands of Allegheny County residents come to the city every day to work, visit restaurants, and attend events. The city and county are inherently linked in many ways, including in many of the challenges we face. Issues like the water quality of our rivers and streams, the flooding that plagues many of our neighborhoods, the funding of our public transportation system, the assessment of property taxes, and economic development planning require close cooperation and good working partnerships between officials at the city and county levels. As Mayor, I will build on existing relationships and create new ones to strengthen our partnership with the county to the benefit of all residents of Pittsburgh and the region.
We Need You! Please come out and join us on Saturday, April 6th as we change Pittsburgh. The election is less than 50 days away. TV ads will run, mail will be sent, but at the end of the day, we need you out in the neighborhoods talking to fellow Pittsburghers about why Bill is the mayor we need now. There’s nothing that can beat that person-to-person contact! Please be part of over 200 people canvassing our city to let voters know that there is a clear choice to be made in this race! The first 200 to sign in will receive a new T-shirt making its debut for this event. Pick your preferred location and time, and bring a friend…or two!
The energy used by buildings to keep our offices, stores, homes, and stadiums heated in the winter, cooled in the summer, and lighted all year round represents a significant portion of the total energy used every year. It also represents a lot of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere and a lot of money wasted on inefficiencies. Cities around the country have started to look more closely at how large buildings use energy, and through this process of examining usage they have been able to take concrete steps to make buildings more efficient and save energy and money. Through partnerships with the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and organizations like Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future and the Green Building Alliance, we can create a program to help building owners and managers track their energy use and make adjustments to save them energy and money.
Nearly 20 percent of properties in Pittsburgh are vacant or abandoned. To make matters worse, these vacant and abandoned properties are concentrated in a few neighborhoods throughout this city. Such a high concentration of empty homes can be devastating to a neighborhood, bringing down property values, increasing crime, and driving away small business. Fortunately, the General Assembly last year passed legislation allowing the creation of land banks in Pennsylvania. A land bank has the power to purchase vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent property and put it in the hands of a private developer or city agency that will restore it and turn it into a neighborhood asset.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd will endorse his colleague Bill Peduto for Mayor today during a 9:30 a.m. press conference on the portico of the City County Building, stating need for next mayor to be able to work with all levels of government.
“Never before has it been more crucial for city and county government to work shoulder to shoulder on issues such as water and sewer system reinvestment, transportation and economic development,” Dowd states as the foundation for his endorsement.
Four labor unions representing a broad diversity of working class families are announcing their endorsement of Bill Peduto for Mayor of Pittsburgh. This brings the total number of union endorsements thus far to 10.