Planning document charting course to maximize development potential for riverfront neighborhoods now online
Community stakeholders to celebrate plans release March 14th at 6:30 p.m., at the Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville
PITTSBURGH— Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the official release of the Allegheny Riverfront Vision, a community-driven master plan for the Allegheny Riverfront extending from the Convention Center to the eastern border of the City. Created by a consultant team led by Perkins Eastman Associates on behalf of the three partnering organizations, including the City, URA and Riverlife, the Allegheny Riverfront Vision lays out a framework for sustainable development along 6.5 miles of urban riverfront, with recommendations related to ecology, transportation, market and urban design.
“The Allegheny Riverfront Vision, through the feedback of hundreds of citizens, has assessed the potential of some of Pittsburgh’s most exciting riverfront neighborhoods,” Ravenstahl said. “With this roadmap now in place, Pittsburgh has the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance urban communities like the Strip and Lawrenceville in ways that will create more jobs, attract new residents and reconnect the neighborhoods to our riverfronts.”
The planning process, which began in April of 2009, included feedback from residents, property-owners, business-owners, public officials, non-profit representatives and other community stakeholders. Community participation for the plan included dozens of neighborhood meetings as well as various activities, such as a historic bike tour, a kayak trip, an outing on the Riverquest educational boat, that allowed participants to envision this part of the City in new ways.
Key elements of the Vision include new riverfront residential development in the Strip and Lawrenceville. Other recommendations include a streetcar providing new transportation options for residents and employees of the area, the creation of a multi-modal green boulevard along the existing Allegheny Valley Railroad right-of-way that includes a continuous bicycle and pedestrian path, and various strategies for ecological restoration and stormwater management both along the riverfront itself and in more developed industrial areas.
“The Allegheny Riverfront Vision combines the very best in urban planning with the hopes and dreams of neighborhood residents and stakeholders in the Strip and Lawrenceville,” said URA Executive Director Rob Stephany. “There are exciting recommendations that can be implemented in the next 1-2 years to maximize the potential of these neighborhoods. At the same time, the Vision is clear about which areas should be left alone because they work and effectively contribute to Pittsburgh’s urban character.”
The plan is already driving new development along the corridor. The URA has entered into an agreement with The Buncher Company that will free up two large riverfront locations for development, one between 11th and 21st Street in the Strip District and the other between 43rd and 48th Street in Lawrenceville. The third area of interest is a former industrial site next to the 62nd Street bridge, which will be used as a relocation spot for industrial uses currently located on land better suited for residential or mixed-use development.
Transportation elements of the plan are also progressing. The City of Pittsburgh was recently awarded $1.5 million in TIGER II/Community Challenge funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation to study the Green Boulevard concept along the corridor’s only rail right-of-way in more detail. The City’s Planning department was awarded a Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to study Strip District traffic patterns in more detail.
The completed Allegheny Riverfront Vision is publicly available for download and printing at http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/alleghenyriverfront/. If you would like to view a print copy but do not have computer access, please call Lena Andrews at the URA at 412-255-6439.
There will be an event to celebrate the release of the plan on March 14th at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Roberto Clemente Museum, 3339 Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville.