December 11: Wilkinsburg Meeting about E Busway Stations and transpo

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erok
Keymaster
#

Just helping get the word out about this


December 11: Join a community conversation about transportation and the East Busway Stations in Wilkinsburg
The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), with Delta Development and EvolveEA, are working with the City of Wilkinsburg to conduct a study for the area surrounding the East Busway’s Wilkinsburg Station and the Hay Street ramp stops. They are seeking to identify creative solutions to better integrate transportation infrastructure into the neighborhood.

The intent of the conversation is to identify infrastructure, community, and development priorities and to create an implementation plan – complete with a funding strategy.

Join the Conversation:
Date: Monday, December 11
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Hosanna House, 807 Wallace Ave
Adjacent Bus Routes: 67 and 69
Complimentary refreshments provided by Soul Food Connection

Ultimately, they will study the potential creation of a Transit Revitalization Investment District, or TRID. A TRID is a locally-designated district around a public transit station within which local taxes may be captured for infrastructure improvements.

These funds may then be used to finance eligible development, transit station improvements, and other infrastructure improvements within a TRID. The TRID model has a proven track record in many Pennsylvania towns and cities.

As the focus is on Wilkinsburg’s East Busway stations, the study area also includes parts of Homewood and N. Point Breeze.

For more info and questions, contact: Chris Sandvig, csandvig@pcrg.org


NMR
Member
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So who’s pushing this TRID idea, PCRG?

I’m an infrastructure wonk, don’t get me wrong, but siphoning off long-term tax revenue from the most developmentally-desirable area when the city is literally being suffocated from lack of revenue seems…questionable.

TRID’s aren’t bad tools, in general, but this specific location could have serious unintended consequences.


Eric
Member
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This is interesting. The Wilkinsburg part has been disadvantaged for years. I lived there 2000-2008 and often walked to the busway to get the ebo. However, Wilkinsburg is already in a property tax death spiral. (high taxes on low value properties).  Will this make it worse?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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This is only about three-maybe-four blocks from the P1 at Wilkinsburg Station. No need to wait for the rare 67/69 trips.


zzwergel
Member
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Why are these meetings always so late or so early? I can never make it to a meeting after 3:00PM or before 11:30 AM any day of the week.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Evening meetings are convenient for most people. I had to drop out of an org whose meetings were 3:30pm as I could not get out of work, even tho the meeting was literally across the street.


erok
Keymaster
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So who’s pushing this TRID idea, PCRG?

Yes I believe so.


Eric
Member
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@zzwergel, quick tip.  People who work for a living tend to not like it when people who don’t work call 11:30 am early.


zzwergel
Member
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The reason they are not convenient fo me is I do not like waiting for a bus in a high-crime area in the dark that has potential to be crowded or only comes once per hour. If the meeting starts and ends before dark, that is fine. Is there a problem with Saturdays?

  • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  zzwergel.

StuInMcCandless
Participant
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There is. It’s when most people do other things. Community involvement is a weekday thing. Or weeknight thing.

Myself, I would be happy to have more of my meetings at 7:15 a.m., like my one Toastmasters group. I can also report that in Toastmasters District 13, of about 90 clubs, only about five meet on a weekend — and one of those is at 7:30 a.m. Most club meetings are either at lunchtime or early evening, starting between 6:30 and 7:30,and running an hour or so.


Eric
Member
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For the record, this is only about 2-3 blocks from the east busway and buses downtown. I used to walk over there daily during all hours for 8 years from 2000-2008. And I’m a wimpy white guy. That part isn’t a high crime area. There are lots of businesses and it is well lit.

I could point you to higher crime areas of Wilkinsburg if you needed to know where those are.


zzwergel
Member
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I would like to know what parts of Wilkinsburg are dangerous AKA Franklin Ave. massacre. I know Regent Square is predominately young white people who are likely to be members of the LGBT community. Where are the bad parts?


dfiler
Member
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Anyone know how the meeting ended up going?

I for one would love to see the busway underpasses opened up. One of them even goes directly into the old train station itself. (https://goo.gl/maps/1aYhQ1NZKeH2) Tying both sides of the busway together into a single walkable neighborhood would really help the east side of the busway rebound economically.

In terms of crime, I live about a block west of the busway and am not concerned. Reconnecting the neighborhoods doesn’t seem like it would put me in any more danger. Violent crime is almost never anonymous in Wilkinsburg anyway. We already have random burglary in regent square and I don’t think connecting the neighborhoods would increase that. If anything, economic recovery east of the busway would likely decrease crime in regent square.

Another suggestion is to extend the pedestrian path/sidewalk along the busway in both directions. The southern end terminates just before the race street underpass. If connected to edgewood ave and a bike lane installed on edgewood, it would connect to the other busway sidewalk that crosses braddock and goes into the heart of swissvale. (https://goo.gl/maps/Aj15ojXmtSt) (https://goo.gl/maps/qRn4tdygz7u) That might be out of scope for this project though.

 


Eric
Member
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I used to live on Biddle. Which underpasses are you talking about?  I never found it hard to cross from one side to the other in the “downtown” part of Wilkinsburg.


dfiler
Member
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There are two still bricked up pedestrian tunnels.  One I posted a google maps link to. It leads directly into the inside of the train station. The other leads to the Edgewood station. A 3rd, the Whitney ave / Hamnett Station tunnel was reopened in 2004 to help with park and ride access.

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  dfiler.

dfiler
Member
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Oh yeah… there is also a bricked up pedestrian tunnel at franklin ave.

I really do think that opening all these tunnels would reconnect the two neighborhoods and jump start economic investment east of he busway. Currently the busway is a massive barrier between a solid middle class neighborhood and a decaying getto.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Ghettoes occur because of economic injustice. What causes economic injustice? Transportation barriers play a big part. A big honking wall, of whatever sort, accomplishes exactly that, whether in the form of a bricked-over pedestrian tunnel, a highway, or a railroad.

To Z’s question, I contend there are no “good” or “bad” parts of town, and no “good” vs. “bad” people. Plenty of bullets flying in the lily white ‘burbs, and as @dfiler noted above, most have someone’s name on them. Then too, you’re as likely to get killed by an automobile as a gun in this country, no matter where you are, and in the ‘burbs, maybe moreso.

I would love to see Edgewood Boro get on board with any progressive idea. It’s because of Edgewood Boro that the original Busway ended at Wilkinsburg in 1983. Further, Edgewood Boro would have nothing to do with the 2004 extension. Hence no station, no sidewalk, and no direct connection to the Parkway. Reason? Thinly veiled racism.


zzwergel
Member
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@stu, Hamnett Station services Edgewood and Regent Square just fine.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Thank some right thinking people at Port Authority around 1998 for that. That location was chosen to be as close as possible to Edgewood without actually being in Edgewood, since Edgewood would not allow a station to be placed anywhere in the boro.


Eric
Member
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Not most of Edgewood though.  PAT wanted to put one near the old train station which would serve a larger portion of Edgewood and the towne center and Edgewood said no.  Honestly they were worried about it drawing black people to the borough. Quite racist. Though they didn’t say it that way.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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It was pointed out at that meeting I attended in 1997 that anyone could drive down Swissvale Avenue from “that part of town” and be in Edgewood in five minutes. Deaf ears, willful ignorance. They shot it down anyway. Ended up both sides said “screw you” to each other. They built the busway extension anyway in spite of Edgewood’s non-compliance.

Anytime anyone complains about how difficult it is to get into the city from the eastern suburbs via transit, make sure you drag this story out and rub people’s noses in the racism. They weren’t even trying to hide it 20 years ago, and today it’s outright blatant.

It was only five or so years ago this same thing came up when trying to keep the back gate open at Edgewood Towne Center so peds and cyclists could get through — to shop, if nothing else. Nope, they only wanted people to arrive by car. They didn’t want the buses to service the plaza, either. Same reasoning.

As you can tell, I’m still bitter about the whole thing. Flat out, unbridled, undisguised racism. 40 years ago, 20 years ago, five years ago, and today still.


Eric
Member
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The funny thing is that the waterfront has accelerated the death of Edgewood town center.  When I lived in Wilkinsburg I’d drive to the nicer giant eagle down there than shop at Edgewood.  If they encouraged walking I think more people would end up at the Edgewood town center instead of driving to the waterfront.


zzwergel
Member
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Edgewood, you have access to the East busway. See this video.


zzwergel
Member
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I biked through Regent Square today starting at Hamnett Station and ending at Biddle’s Escape. I will post video when I get home.


zzwergel
Member
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Video is up!

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