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Final workshop on transportation to focus on East End issues

| Monday, Aug. 6, 2012

The fourth and final public workshop on Pittsburgh's plan for transportation in the next 25 years will be held this week in East Liberty and will focus on issues facing East End neighborhoods.

Patrick Roberts, the city's principal transportation planner, said the workshop will focus on making the area more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, but residents will be free to share their transportation concerns or ideas.

“Public input is critical in this process,” Roberts said of efforts to craft the plan known as MovePGH.

Residents will be able to weigh in during open sessions at the Carnegie Library in East Liberty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. The workshop will conclude with a session at 6 p.m. Wednesday, when officials will summarize the week's progress and take comments and questions.

Members of the public also will be able to participate in tours of the area with planners, who will study the ease of walking and biking in the area. Tours will depart the East Liberty library at noon and 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Roberts said all recommendations gathered at the workshops will help officials prioritize projects or goals for improving the city's transportation network. The plan, which is expected to cost $1.4 million, should be completed by spring, he said.

Several efforts are under way to change the face of transportation in the East End for years to come.

Among them is the proposed development of a $34 million transit center near Shady and Penn avenues in East Liberty. Officials hope it will spur almost $300 million in commercial and residential development.

Also, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is spending $1 million to study the possibility of developing rapid bus service that could shorten commute times and spur development between Downtown and Oakland and possibly neighborhoods farther east.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reachedat 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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