The Allegheny River Greenway was officially opened on Sunday, May 1st with a ribbon cutting ceremony! After the ribbon cutting, after the ceremony, participants walked along the edge of the Greenway to scout out future sites for improvements such as invasive species removal and trail entrances.
The Allegheny River Greenway Committee is made up of area residents with support from the Morningside Area Community Council, the Stanton Heights Neighborhood Association, and the offices of City Councilman Patrick Dowd and State Representative Dom Costa. The Committee chose to preserve these lands as an official City greenway due to the significant benefit to the proximate neighborhoods and the City as a whole. Such benefits include, but are not limited to, passive recreation opportunities, stormwater management, erosion and sedimentation control, enhanced aesthetics, air quality improvements, a positive identifying neighborhood feature, and stabilizing or increasing property values.
Please attend a community meeting on Thursday, July 1st, 2010, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, at the Union Project, 801 N. Negley Avenue, to learn more about the Greenway designation and whether it makes sense for the green hillside along Baker and Butler Streets in the Morningside and Stanton Heights neighborhoods. This meeting will be attended by the City Planning Department, the Real Estate Department, and Councilman Patrick Dowd.
The City of Pittsburgh, in partnership with community groups, may designate publicly owned land as “Greenway”. Lands that are designated as part of a Greenway have certain protections from development, typical park programming, and other high-impact uses. Alternatively, this land can be improved by community members interested in fighting dumping, removing invasive species from the land, or creating small, unpaved trails for community use.
Please help us spread the word to your neighbors., If you have any questions, please contact Councilman Dowd’s office at 412-255-2140.
PARKING & PENSIONS: After the August break, the City faces a critical decision on the future of our public garages. The State Legislature has required the City to increase its pension fund assets by $210 million to meet at least 50% of its obligations. The Mayor has presented his plan to privatize the garages as the last best idea to meet this obligation. He argues that failure to enact his plan will lead to state takeover of the pension and ultimately, a tax increase to meet the obligation.
The Mayor’s proposal settles for a one-time infusion of cash while relinquishing community control over significant public assets for generations. While my fellow City Council members have floated numerous alternative proposals, City Controller Michael Lamb and I have drafted a separate plan for consideration.
The Mayor has distributed a draft request for proposals for the community and council to review. Council will be looking for feedback to the Mayor’s and council members’ proposals at a series of public meetings in September. But I encourage you to attend the next Morningside Council-to-Go on Thursday, August 26 from 6:30pm to 8pm at Morning Glory, 1806 Chislett Street. We want to hear your thoughts on these various proposals.
GREENWAY: At a community meeting hosted by our office on July 1, Morningside and Stanton Heights residents met with City representatives to discuss the benefits and responsibilities of a greenway. The greenway was first proposed by Morningside residents and would include an overlook at the intersection of Morningside Avenue and Baker Street and a wooded greenway down to the Allegheny River. City employees presented how a greenway provides passive recreation opportunities, improves water management and erosion control, enhances aesthetics, and raises property values.
My office highlighted how the City and numerous nonprofit agencies contribute to the long-term maintenance of greenways. Communities that have entered into greenway agreements have access to public and nonprofit resources for the clean-up of significant debris and the prevention of illegal dumping.
Both the MACC and the Stanton Heights Neighborhood Association have voted to move forward with the development of a greenway. My office will now submit letters to that effect to City Planning, and then I’ll introduce legislation to City Council informing them of this project. The legislation then goes to City Planning and the Planning Commission. To learn more about or get involved with this green project, please phone 412.255.2140 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.