PGH 2070 Mobility Vision Plan
As City residents, many of us experienced the decades long population decline brought on by changes in industry and economy. In recent years, however, the city has been experiencing a resurgence fueled by the innovation, technology, research, education, and finance sectors. The city we call home, the same city that not too long ago lost more than half of its population, is growing once again according to the latest population estimates. Pittsburgh is continuously touted as one of the most livable places in the United States.
While population growth has been slow, we believe it is inevitable and we must be ready for it so we can do so in a way that is equitable, preserves affordability, enables opportunities for existing, returning, and future residents, and meets our commitments to safety, environmental improvement, and resiliency. Does the city have the mobility system and infrastructure it needs to catalyze, to support, and to sustain growth while ensuring all residents have the opportunity to thrive?
As we evaluate transportation investment and work towards the continued build out of a transportation network that benefits all users, we should recall the ingenuity of generations past (i.e., a robust and extensive streetcar network, 23 inclines, tens of thousands of steps, and hundreds of bridges) and the infrastructure legacy they left behind. When the network was conceived, private automobiles were a thing of the future. Today, we have pedestrians, bicyclists, automobiles, buses, and newer modes often times competing for the same space. The future may bring hyperloop, high-speed rail, vertical take-off airplanes, water buses, flying water taxis, aerial ropeway gondolas, autonomous vehicles, personal rapid transit, and other modes that are unknown at this time. How are individual modes contributing to the overall function of the network?
PGH Mobility 2070 is an opportunity for bold and proactive thinking about the future of Pittsburgh to identify the connections and policies we need to ensure that, in a growing city, all residents will have the physical mobility they need to reach the economic mobility they seek. This plan will also help identify a tactical and strategic two-year action agenda to direct DOMI’s activities and investments to advance on stated goals and make incremental progress toward implementation of the long-range vision.
A draft of the Vision Plan will be completed second quarter 2020. At that time, we will be conducting a series of public meetings. A final Vision Plan is anticipated in early summer 2020 and will include performance measures and metrics, a prioritization of projects, and policies for development.
We Want to Hear From You
Throughout the summer and fall, City staff attended scores of community events across the city gathering ideas and priorities from City stakeholders about their mobility and connectivity needs now and for the next three generations. Ideas submitted range from hyperloop connections between major cities to car-free boulevards, gondola transit routes to ubiquitous accessible sidewalks, and drone deliveries to smart traffic networks. PGH Mobility 2070 will assess needs and opportunities and build a framework for incremental action and investment.
As of January 2020, we received more than 900 comments at these events or via the online survey and interactive map. Have we heard from you?
As the backbone of this vision, it is important that we hear from all corners, slopes, and hilltops across the city. We need you to help us identify how and where to connect our diverse neighborhoods and regional centers. We need you to help us define measures of success for a system that serves all and the core values of our city. Mostly importantly, we hope that you will continue this conversation with everyone you know so that we can ensure we are building towards an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable transportation network that meets growing needs.
- Connecting to the world – Where do we need to be connected to? Where should inter-regional connections arrive in the city? Where should the intercept points be?
- Connecting to the region – What are the areas in the region we must improve rapid, reliable connections to? What new infrastructure or modes of transportation will we need to connect the region?
- Connecting the dots – How will our job centers change if we add 150,000 more residents and many more jobs? How can we better connect the centers we have today and the new emerging centers of tomorrow?
- Connecting neighborhoods – Where are the neighborhood clusters that may need additional connections within them?
- Policies for Livable Streets – What should we think about in terms of street design and street operation (sidewalks, trees, traffic calming, etc.)? What policies will we need to prepare to accommodate the future? What are the most important things that contribute to happy and healthy streets?
- Managing Change – We are only at the beginning of change. The next 50 years will bring still more changes we have only just begun to anticipate. What do we need to do to prepare for these changes? What do you think will drive the biggest changes in mobility in the future?
There are numerous ways to provide comment including email, short survey, interactive map, and/or Twitter @PGHMOBILITY2070.
In person, we will be hosting a series of public meetings once the draft Vision Plan is complete in late first quarter 2020. Stay tuned for dates and locations.
How This Connects to Other City-wide DOMI Initiatives
DOMI has numerous city-wide and neighborhood-specific planning initiatives that are in progress. These projects as well as future planning and engineering projects will help us move closer towards achieving our long-term vision. Ongoing city-wide initiatives are described in additional detail below.
- Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Efforts undertaken as part of this study were designed to help identify a network of streets for future pedestrian investments. The analysis used numerous inputs to identify high-pedestrian crash locations, high-risk pedestrian corridors, high-need pedestrian corridors, and key walking streets. Findings from the analysis in combination with stakeholder input will be used to inform a final network for future policy and infrastructure improvements as part of the City’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. The City considers a complete sidewalk network to be non-negotiable component of our transportation network and we are working towards achieving this goal. The plan will be completed in Spring 2020.
- Bike+ Plan. The Pittsburgh Bike+ Plan will set the framework for building a safe, comfortable, and convenient bike network for all types of riders and all types of trips. As part of the planning process, DOMI set up an interactive map to solicit community feedback regarding gaps within the existing bike and trails network. At this time, we have a list of proposed bike lanes and trails as well as identified network gaps that we are working towards implementing. The City considers a complete bicycle network to be non-negotiable component of our transportation network and we are working towards achieving this goal. This plan will be completed in Spring 2020.
- Complete Streets Design Guidelines. Through the adoption of the Pittsburgh Complete Streets Policy in 2016, the City puts people walking, biking, and taking transit on equal footing with people driving motor vehicles in an effort to improve the quality of life for all Pittsburghers. Subsequent activities include the ongoing preparation of Complete Streets Design Guidelines that are intended to serve as the framework for reprogramming streets to be great public spaces that also facilitate the introduction of multi-modals corridors and safe, connected, and convenient transportation networks. This project will be completed in Spring 2020.