January 14th Meeting Recap
Couldn’t join us at the Neighborhood Meeting on January 14th? Not a problem, we can catch you up. Folks at both Lawrenceville Corporation and Lawrenceville United are also available to chat with you should have questions about anything discussed here. Our goal is to get you information so you can provide input on the future of Lawrenceville.
Included is a detailed transcription of the question and answer portion of the meeting.
You asked, we planned
The feedback we have heard from the community revealed there was a sense of “reaction” and a need for regular community updates regarding the swiftly developing Lawrenceville. The meeting on January 14th in the Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8 Auditorium was held for this very reason. Lawrenceville Corporation, Lawrenceville United, and Councilwoman Deb Gross convened to report on what is known, offer resources and insight, get input from the community, and prioritize next steps. It’s important to note that this community process was adopted by the Lawrenceville neighborhood in 2011 and serves as a regional model for planning.
Through the community process and planning a list of priorities have been developed, including (but not limited to):
- infrastructure improvements
- construction impact
These issues came up during the agenda for evening’s discussion: development at 40th and Butler Streets.
Open spaces, new connections
As of right now there are 36 acres of land in and around 40th Street that are currently slated for development. Included in that acreage is the large parcel of land at 40th and Butler Streets where the Rite Aid and UPMC Family Health Center are located. Milhaus, a development company based out of Indianapolis, will be building housing, retail, and office spaces on the site. LC and LU have connected with Milhaus to discuss their plans for the space and offer them insight into the priorities of the community.
Milhaus will be presenting their ideas at a meeting on January 25th but in the meantime, the neighborhood got up to speed about the best ways to advance the previously stated priorities for the district. By the Lawrenceville Allegheny Riverfront Responsible Growth District Plan Summary, or LARRGDP (beginning at slide 40) proposes a number of ideas for developers that utilize the priorities of the community and encourage responsible development.
Butler Street at 40th is notorious for having dense traffic and is often a site for bottle-necking. The ideas proposed focus on creating connectivity options alternative to Butler Street.
- Opening Willow Street to allow passage underneath the 40th Street Bridge
- Opening a crossing at Foster Street (still studying feasibility and options for a traffic signal)
Inter-modal district parking
In December of 2015 a parking study found a deficit of 731 spaces in Lower and Central Lawrenceville. There is a proposal for Milhaus to offer a public parking facility. Milhuas has agreed to this concept in principle.
Circulating shuttle from Lawrenceville to Downtown
Councilwoman Deb Gross shared that there will be approximately 2,000 residential units being built within the Strip District and Lawrenceville combined in the next year to 18 months. With the growth of residents living Downtown as well, it will be imperative to offer transportation solutions that encourage people to leave their cars at home, (or not own one at all).
Recently an opportunity through the Department of Transportation became available called the Smart Cities Challenge that addresses rapid growth in mid-sized cities very much like Pittsburgh. It’s an aspirational idea that could assist with getting back and forth to Downtown and reduce travel times for everyone on the roads. Establishing a preferred route and the method of operation for this project are forth coming in 2016. This is an idea rooted in nearly a decade of planning, (see The Allegheny Riverfront Plan and The Green Boulevard Plan).
The Green Boulevard
Originally, the Green Boulevard was poised for installation along the railroad easement that runs along the Allegheny River. The Allegheny Valley Railroad has since left the table regarding this plan. However, Lawrenceville Corporation has reached out to the private landowners along the same path to piece together the Green Boulevard on private property between 39th and 48th Streets with the hopes of opening this potential public amenity to both cyclists and pedestrians and include green infrastructure via stormwater management.
Over one hundred people attended this meeting and gave positive and thoughtful feedback. The conversation continues and we need to hear from you. Leave comments below or send us an email to be a part of this important public process.
Join us for the next meeting on January 25th at 6:30PM at Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8 Auditorium.