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Brownsville Road corridor part of economic development plan

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Commuters who usually drive straight through the Brownsville Road corridor could get more enticing reasons to stop and shop.

Economic Development South is working to develop a strategic action plan this spring of Brownsville Road, from Nobles Lane in Carrick to the Saw Mill Run Boulevard intersection at the Brentwood/Whitehall border.

The plan would be an economic development strategy looking at short- and long-term initiatives addressing streetscape, transportation and public safety improvements, and retaining existing businesses while attracting new ones, said Greg Jones, executive director of Economic Development South.

“How many people drive through Brownsville Road and it's just a pass through?” Jones said. “We're trying to establish where there's something that makes (Brownsville Road) more of a regional destination.”

Economic Development South is a nonprofit organization working to boost community growth in Baldwin Borough, Brentwood, Whitehall and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Carrick and Overbrook.

The organization received a $50,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development for the plan, which also includes the small shopping center near Nobles Lane, Jones said.

“This is the first time we're looking at the entire corridor,” said Stephanie Miller, manager of projects and initiatives for EDS.

Brownsville Road was mentioned in at least five local studies in the last 10 years, Jones said. Some of the them addressed individual communities, only touching upon the corridor, while others were for specific initiatives such as environmental goals.

This is the first plan that will address Brownsville Road specifically, Jones said.

“The last thing we wanted to do was another study,” Jones said. “A lot of it wasn't usable ... We always felt like they weren't looking at it in the right way.”

Municipal officials and other key stakeholders, such as Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Allegheny County representatives, will meet to discuss the project earlier in the day in Brentwood.

This spring, Jackson/Clark Partners and Urban Partners, the project consultants, will study the corridor, Jones said. The consultants are tentatively scheduled to present the results of the study in June or July.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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