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Oakmont developing plan to make life better for pedestrians

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, 3:03 p.m.
Oakmont officials seek to improve sidewalks and increase foot traffic through a pedestrian plan next year.
Michael DiVittorio
Oakmont officials seek to improve sidewalks and increase foot traffic through a pedestrian plan next year.

Oakmont has hired a consulting firm to study pedestrian traffic and develop a plan showing things that could be done to make walking easier and safer in the borough.

Pittsburgh's Environmental Planning and Design started the project this month and will present the plan to council by July. The firm's work will include things such as identifying where and when most people walk in the borough, what areas need sidewalks, and tracking which intersections most need improvements to make them safer for pedestrians.

“This will complement and expand our comprehensive plan,” assistant borough Manager Carol Moore said.

Oakmont was awarded an $11,000 grant to develop the pedestrian plan from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health's WalkWorks program. It also received $10,000 from a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recreational program.

Moore said developing the project could lead to grants for implementation of suggested improvements included in the pedestrian plan.

“It's one of the ways ... to increase physical activity in Oakmont,” Moore said about making improvements for pedestrians.

Oakmont was one of four communities, and the only one in Allegheny County, to receive WalkWorks funding.

Project Director Carolyn Yagle said first drafts of the pedestrian plan should be ready by April. There will be public hearings on the plan, a survey in the borough's newsletter, and information on the borough's website as it becomes available through the consulting firm.

A group of representatives of the borough, Riverview School District, Riverview Community Action Corp., Allegheny County Health Department and PennDOT has also been formed to help with development of the pedestrian plan.

“It's definitely a good thing,” Community Action Director Stephanie Woolford said. “We have a lot of seniors who walk, so we think it's a great idea (to have a pedestrian plan).”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367 or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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