Community Advocates Demand Walkable Streets in East Liberty

East Liberty community rallies for a more walkable neighborhood & begins planning effort for pedestrian-friendly streets

IMG_0019This past Friday, East Liberty residents took to the street to rally for pedestrian safety improvements along the neighborhood’s Penn Avenue business district, calling special attention to Penn Ave. intersections from Beaty Street to Penn Circle South/East.

The rally was organized by community activists from Action United, who lead the march from Beaty Street to Penn Circle South/East.  The group delivered speeches in front of Target focusing on the need for better street & intersection design through the corridor to keep residents safe during this crucial time in East Liberty’s development. The activists also met with the Acting Director of the Department of Public Works, Pat Hassett, to discuss a plan for a series of quick improvements that Mr. Hassett said he hopes to have installed before the end of the year.  The plan includes; retiming pedestrian signals to give walkers time to enter the crosswalk before cars receive a green signal, clearing grasses and shrubs from site lines to increase driver & pedestrian visibility, and removing the right-turn arrow from the signal cycle to give pedestrians priority in the crosswalk.

Read the Post-Gazette’s coverage of Friday’s rally

IMG_0013During past community meetings, residents have identified safe walkability improvements as a need in East Liberty.  As a result, East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) is seeking input for improving the neighborhoods walkability through this Walking Survey.

If you identify as a stakeholder in East Liberty, please give ELDI your input through the survey.  Results of their Walking & Mobility study will be presented at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty on December 3rd at 5:30pm.

Its inspiring to see that Pittsburgh residents are demanding these safety improvements in their neighborhoods and that the city is responding with quick action.  Making Pittsburgh streets safer for people to walk and bike is an essential first step if we are to begin solving our city’s transportation, economic, environmental and public health issues.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 11.14.28 AMBikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision stresses that Pittsburgh’s bike routes must be interconnected, safe, attractive, and comfortable in order to appeal to people of all ages, especially those who are interested in riding a bike but concerned for their safety. Learn more about BikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision.

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