Public Meeting will determine the future of Junction Hollow Trail, Schenley Park
The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) have been actively seeking to remake the area known as Four Mile Run, the valley and park area between Junction Hollow in Oakland and the Run in Greenfield. First and foremost, they are looking to deal with the water runoff and flooding issues endemic to the area.
A second component is a possible transit connection.
For the past few years, the City and URA have been exploring the possibility of a new transit service that would connect Hazelwood Green (formerly ALMONO) to CMU/Oakland using the Junction Hollow and Neville St corridor. While the proposals have been light on details, there has been talk of running small scale shuttles, possibly electric, possibly autonomous, between the two locations. Back in November 2017, DOMI/URA hosted a series of public meetings to figure out what kind of transportation needs existed.
Since the meeting, they have rebranded the project the Mon-Oakland Mobility Plan, and hired a consultant team to explore potential alternatives for this new connection. This study will continue to build on the PWSA Green First Infrastructure Plan to mitigate the flooding issues.
The team is “to explore potential routes for a connection and explore modes of transportation (e.g., bikes, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicle shuttles) to meet demand.”
The Junction Hollow Trail is a crucial bicycle transportation corridor
Regardless of the outcome, the corridor, and potentially the functionality of the Junction Hollow Trail itself will be impacted. Ideas have been floated to relocate the trail to the other side of the valley, for instance.
What is clear is that we have maintained our position on the potential impacts of the project, and have identified both concerns and opportunities.
- Improve bicycle facilities, don’t degrade them. The trail must remain separated from any motorized vehicles, autonomous or otherwise. Aside from a terrible precedent being set, the thought of children sharing a trail with motorized vehicles is enough to make your stomach crawl.
- Maintain trail access during construction. This trail is a key mobility corridor for people on bikes, and cannot be closed down. The connection doesn’t need to be fancy, we just need to be able to get through and make sure construction is staged in a way that doesn’t shut people out.
- Panther Hollow Lake Connection. There is a real opportunity to connect the trail to Schenley Park over the train tracks, an improvement that residents have been seeking for a long time. Let’s take advantage of this momentum.
- Light the trail. The Junction Hollow Trail is dark. If there was ever an opportunity to turn this into a 24-hour bicycling connection, it’s this.
- Extend Trail to CMU Parking Lot. There is support for extending the trail to the CMU parking lot, next to Boundary Street. Although narrow, Boundary Street is a popular cycling route, and extending the trail will open up bicycling to many new riders, while making a serious improvement to current ridership.
Make your voice heard: Public Meeting, January 18
This will be the first in what will be a series of public meetings over the next few months.
Date: January 18, 2018
Location: Magee Recreation Center, 745 Greenfield Ave
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