Talk about imagining and doing! The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is hard at work on a transformative project that is in its own way every bit as big as the Point State Park and Gateway Center initiatives of the 1940s and ‘50s. It’s called the Green Boulevard. The multi-modal corridor, including a train and transit line, a bike and hiking trail, and vehicle lane would run six and a half miles from Pittsburgh’s Strip District to the city line near the zoo. The idea is to restore and insert green space to the old industrial neighborhoods along the Allegheny River, reconnecting the Lawrenceville community to the river for the first time since the mid-19th century with a mix of residential, office, retail and even light manufacturing. And, yes, it would extend our region’s growing multi-use trail network up the Allegheny River all the way to the city line.
You can find out all about it at www.greenboulevardpgh.com. The new website is very interactive, with maps of the route and the opportunity for visitors to post how they use the corridor today and how they’d like to use it in the future. A public meeting on the project is set for Thursday, March 15, 6pm-8pm at the Grey Box Theater, 3595 Butler Street, Lower Lawrenceville.
They say it could take a generation to build the corridor — which is probably what people in the ’40s said about Point State Park and Gateway Center. (And it did take a generation – the fountain at the Point was talked about in the late ‘40s – it was completed in the early ‘70s.) What’s being created today is a blueprint to guide the development of the corridor for decades to come.
Bill Flanagan is executive vice-president for corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates. He hosts the weekly program “Our Region’s Business,” produced in partnership with WPXI-TV. It can be seen on Channel 11 in Pittsburgh at 11 a.m. Sundays, and also airs on other regional Cox affiliates and Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (PCNC).