Lawrenceville Alleghey Riverfront Green Boulevard Planning Meeting

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist RS310271

A few weeks ago I attended the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Planning Meeting held in Lawrenceville. A big part of my interest is that this plan will significantly change the neighborhood near the new Hatfield+Home development that I am marketing, and has the potential to make our homes some of the hottest properties going.

What was being presented was a vision for the future of Pittsburgh and especially the city side of the riverfront from Downtown to beyond the city limits, and specifically the area around 43rd Street in Lawrenceville.

Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard

There were three areas of discussion at the meeting: Transportation, Open Space and Development. After an initial presentation of the plan as it stands now, which you can download here , we broke into three groups and rotated through areas set up to discuss various subjects in an effort to generate community input and new ideas. As the discussions progressed the ideas were written up on big sheets of white paper that will be used to further help the planning process.

Probably the most fun part of the evening was hearing the creative ideas that Pittsburgher's and Lawrenceville residents in particular have for their neighborhood.

33rd Street PlanThe first discussion group I sat in with was related to Transportation. This is my favorite part of the plan, a much needed and long delayed commuter rail line from the east that will run on the existing freight line from Arnold, through Oakmont, Lawrenceville and into Downtown. It is a great reuse of the lines that are not currently used during the day. And finally a plan that just might reduce traffic on the Parkway East, think Squirrel Hill tunnels at rush hour, and 28. It also opens up the real possibility of car-free commutes from many eastern city and suburban neighborhoods. Imagine the great development that will take place nearby the rail stops! Not only will this serve the communities along the rail line, but from the rail stop at 43rd Street the idea is for bus service to take people up the hill to Children's Hospital and into Oakland, ultimately letting commuters easily reach a large portion of the city. Those that continue on to Downtown would have the opportunity to transfer to the T, and access the Northside on the Northshore Connector, or head out to the South. The Transportation discussion also went beyond just the rail line. Integral to the plan is how biking and walking can be accommodated along the riverfront, which is why there is a trail that will parallel the train, similar to the South Side trail. Finally, a safe route from the east into the city on a bike! Ideas were also presented about how appropriate bike lanes can be made available from the trail into Bloomfield, Oakland and the rest of the city.

The Open Space discussion revolved around two ideas for the area along the river, one that was more "programmed" and included things like ball fields, overlooks, boat launches and active use parks. And one that was left more natural. The overwhelming opinion of the group seemed to be a mix between the two. While many people wanted to have some active space, they wanted to make sure that the hideaways and existing character along the riverfront be left alone.

Hatfield + HomeLastly, I moved over to the discussion on Development. Since Hatfield+Home really represents the very first step of this plan, I was very interested in what things could be developed nearby that would enhance the experience for buyers. There seemed to be alternating opinions on if the rail stop at 43th Street should include riverfront retail and dining attractions, or encourage people to move several blocks up to Butler Street. Many people felt that retail should stay up in the Lawrenceville Business District, but that there was an opportunity for residential serving businesses, like a mini-mart, or trail focused businesses, like an ice-cream shop. Most people felt that the majority of development should be mixed use residential and office, with the hope for more technology and creative business like those already in the area. One really fun idea was the reuse of a warehouse that is being abandoned to be turned into an indoor arena for winter activities, I thought that was a great idea.

Overall it was a really interesting evening, filled with a vision that could transform the city. I would encourage everyone to try and attend the meetings that are being held. This is just the first step of a long term development and it could be years before the ideas are realized, but it all starts with a plan and this is a good one. You can find more information on the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard here.

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Buying or Selling a home in Pittsburgh? Call Christa Ross from RE/MAX Select Realty, at 724-933-6300 x214 (office) or 724-309-1758 (direct) or visit my website at www.bestpittsburghhomes.com.

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