Downtown Pittsburgh Stakeholders Pitch Shared Streets

It's an early idea, but Pittsburgh, with support from transportation planners and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, could be the next U.S. city to consider the shared streets concept.

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June 28, 2015, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A group of local stakeholders are pitching a shared streets concept for Downtown Pittsburgh for the section of Liberty Avenue from Commonwealth Place to Stanwix Street, reports Jon Schmitz.

According to Schmitz, the idea "emerged from a seminar hosted by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and AARP, and guided by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Washington state. The seminar is part of Envision Downtown, a program announced this year by Mayor Bill Peduto to promote sustainable development."

The concept of shared streets has been more common in Europe but is picking up momentum in the United States. Chicago, for instance, has shared streets plans on the way, with a project potentially due next year.

As for Pittsburgh's early ideas, the seminar visited the intersection of Liberty, Stanwix, Forbes Avenue and Penn Avenue and found a dysfunctional intersection, with long wait times and many users already employing the shared streets concept by crossing against the light. The group's recommendations include some less revolutionary ideas to improve safety along the corridor as well, including bulb outs, new landscaping, and bike lanes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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