Hmm, it kind of came to light during Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy Pittsburgh that a lot of parklets that seem like public space actually aren’t, even if private property holders receive deep tax credits for making public-seeming green spaces. The problem is, they can be simply switched/closed off when the property owner sees fit. This is something it would behoove cycling advocates to be vigilant about when developers (buncher, walnut capital, etc) get tax deals and tenants based on promised trail connections and river/park access.
That’s a great point. I was surprised to learn that it is private property. Even more so because it took the 311 response so long. I reported it on Nov 16, and got an almost immediate reply that said “We have notified the appropriate personnel about this issue.”
First, pragmatically, I wonder if this is about snow/ice removal. There’s barriers and signs up now at the SouthSideWorksRiverFrontPlaza explaining that the terraced walkway is closed for the winter. And this walkway is closed for the winter. Could it be that closing these descending concrete walkways in close proximity to the river improves Somebody’s situation in terms of injury liability and/or snow-ice removal expense?
Second, philosophically: Who owns the Convention Center? Because I’m pretty sure the taxpayers paid for it. I think it’s owned by a Government Authority, and I think the “This is private property.” is a misinformed, overworked clerk’s explanation. It’s probably what their boss told them to say.
The Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA) owns the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as well as Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Mellon Arena, the North Shore Riverfront Park and the North Shore Parking Garage. The SEA partners with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and VisitPittsburgh to make Pittsburgh a premier destination.
The SEA is not a private owner of private property, is it? From Wikipedia:
The Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (also known as the Sports & Exhibition Authority or SEA) is a municipal authority that owns and operates public sports and entertainment venues in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh. (emphasis added)
Thanks for the clarification cburch; I should have mentioned that. It was in the same state this morning regarding the lift gate, but there were lights on. Still better than dodging the MegaBus crew and the cars above ground.