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Crosswalk improvements ahead for 3 Pittsburgh neighborhoods

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012,
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The School for the Blind in Oakland is lobbying to get the intersection of Bellefield Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Oakland an audio crosswalk signal. Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh is spending about $50,000 to upgrade pedestrian crosswalks with audible signals at busy intersections in three East End neighborhoods.

Department of Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said the money is coming from the city's capital improvements budget.

DPW has ordered parts to do the work, which should be complete by year's end, he said.

The Islamic Center in Oakland, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network and community groups asked the city to improve the intersection at Fifth and Bellefield avenues in Oakland because of its proximity to the University of Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.

Chief Financial Officer Sue McAleer said the school for the blind supports the installation of audible signals, but its students typically do not walk across the intersection, which is about five minutes away by foot.

On Wednesday, the Interfaith Impact Network is holding a public event at the intersection to secure a public commitment from the city to do the work.

Kaczorowski said the city also will install audible signals at Forbes and Murray avenues and Forbes and Shady avenues, both in Squirrel Hill, and at Fifth and Beechwood Boulevard in Point Breeze.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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