Pittsburgh Council approves Penn Avenue project funding
Garfield residents and businesses along a bumpy four-block stretch of Penn Avenue are gearing up for a $5 million reconstruction that will close the street to outbound traffic for up to two years.
Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved funding for the project set to begin in August. Pittsburgh is paying about $1 million from its capital budget, and the rest is coming from federal highway funding.
“We're worried about parking,” said Angela Calabria, an owner of Calabria's Italian Restaurant on Penn. “It's already hard to park, and we rely on delivery service. But we believe it's going to really bring back the neighborhood and provide a lot of business in the area.”
Improvements include a new concrete street and sidewalks on both sides of Penn, lighted benches, black Fiberglas light poles to replace rusted relics and trees with retention basins to catch stormwater.
Traffic will be restricted to vehicles traveling inbound toward Downtown. Outbound traffic will be detoured off of Penn at Main Street to Liberty Avenue, Baum Boulevard and back onto Penn.
Patrick Hassett, the city's transportation and development coordinator, estimates the work could take up to two years. He said it will proceed one block at a time to minimize the nuisance. Workers will finish one side of the street, then return for the other.
“I think it will be pretty frustrating,” said Kristen Staab, 24, whose apartment is in the planned work area. “I'm sure there will be a plus to it, but do I feel it's absolutely necessary? Not really.”
Aggie Brose, deputy director of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp., said the improvements will complement those completed around Penn Avenue during the last decade.
The community revitalization organization has built about 100 new homes at a cost of $21.5 million during that time. Twenty new businesses, including restaurants and art galleries, have moved into vacant storefronts on Penn in the past five years.
More reconstruction on Penn to Aiken Avenue is planned when money is available.
“I think I've gone through three mayors working on this,” Brose said. “People make a judgment call on the whole community based on what they see on Penn Avenue.
“This is going to really lift the neighborhood up the way it should be.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wrong-way driver causes head-on crash in Center
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Couple attempts theft at North Huntingdon Walmart
- Man taken to hospital after New Alexandria house burns
- Starter Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates to series sweep of Mets
- Pirates notebook: Substance rule a sticky subject
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Marlins, May 25, 2014
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Cochran repair center planned in Harrison