Peduto looks to Obama for scaffolding from 550-foot Washington Monument
Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto thinks scaffolding encasing the 550-foot Washington Monument would look great along the Ohio River near Heinz Field.
Peduto told President Obama so during a meeting last week of current and future mayors at the White House. Then he asked the president to donate the scaffolding to mark the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, which begins at Point State Park and ends in Washington.
“I promised him I'd find a nice riverfront space for it,” Peduto said. “I'd like to see it somewhere past Heinz Field where it's sort of off of the Golden Triangle, but it can be seen from Downtown.
“He looked over at his senior adviser and said, ‘I like that. It's a creative thought. Let's find a way to do it.' ”
Peduto, who asked Obama to help Pittsburgh with early childhood education, neighborhood redevelopment, environmentally friendly streetlighting and sewage overflows, said he thought the scaffolding request was a light-hearted way to end his conversation with the president on Friday.
Peduto and more than a dozen other mayors met with Obama to discuss ways that cities can become key job-creation centers.
He didn't get any commitments, but said it was good to make connections. And he's serious about the scaffolding, which went up this year to repair damage the monument sustained during a 2011 earthquake. Crews last month began removing the scaffolding.
“It is absolutely beautiful, and at night when it's lit up it looks something like the Eiffel Tower,” he said.
Renee Piechocki, director of the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art, thinks it's a pretty good idea.
“I love the idea of the Great Allegheny Passage being marked with a gateway,” she said. “I don't know if it should be a scaffolding, but why not? I bet no other mayor asked for it.”
Peduto said he asked the president for backing to establish an early childhood education program in Pittsburgh. The city has about 10,000 children between 1 and 5 years old, but only half have access to preschool, Peduto said.
“I didn't ask for a blank check,” he said. “We have a foundation community, a corporate community that can help to partner with federal programs.”
Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said the district would have to learn more about Peduto's plans before it could comment. The district's Early Childhood Education Program served 2,275 children in schools and affiliated child care centers in 2012-13.
Peduto asked Obama for a federal loan to make Pittsburgh a leader in LED streetlighting. The mayor-elect has been courting a Slovenian LED light manufacturer to locate a plant in the city and provide energy-efficient lighting for streets.
He also asked for more time to incorporate green infrastructure in the city's federally mandated plans to reduce sewage overflows into waterways during heavy rain.
Barney Oursler, executive director of Pittsburgh United, a coalition of environmentalists who support green stormwater remedies, said he was elated to hear that Peduto took his request to the president.
“As we work from the bottom up with ratepayers and stakeholder groups, Bill is working from the top down,” he said. “We are a great team.”
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
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.
- Ex-recreation director settles age discrimination lawsuit against Pittsburgh
- 7 percent in Allegheny County allowed to carry concealed gun
- Group reports ethnically charged comments in Moroccan taxi driver’s Hazelwood shooting
- Pittsburgh region’s philanthropic sector at top of nation’s pack
- Mt. Lebanon puts temporary halt on deer kill
- Merged United Way to reveal 5-year plan aimed at Western Pa. children
- Lane restrictions announced for portion of Route 28
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh gets $500K estate gift
- School bus heavily damaged in Homewood fire
- Allegheny County Controller Wagner won’t appeal judge’s audit ruling
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall