Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that the Port Authority will detour all inbound buses operating through the Forbes section of Market Square beginning Friday, June 1 through Sunday, July 1, 2007. This one-month detour will allow public space designers to study how rerouting bus traffic will affect Market Square, as well as the rest of the Downtown area, and is part of a three-tiered plan to reinvent and revitalize the Square.
Said Mayor Ravenstahl, "The bus rerouting experiment is an aggressive effort, with the ultimate goal resulting in Market Square being more pedestrian and business friendly, enhancing the overall quality of life Downtown. In October of 2006, the Department of City Planning hosted a town meeting for the public to review recommendations for the revitalization of Market Square. Public and stakeholder input from this meeting garnered the direction that led to our plans to redirect bus traffic."
Progress toward revitalization began with a crack down on crime. "Through the help of the Pittsburgh and Port Authority Police, District Attorney Steven Zappala, and local business owners, we've successfully closed two criminal businesses in three months and made over 120 drug-related arrests in and around the area," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "The final step will be the redesigning of Market Square, utilizing input from the surrounding community and businesses, along with directional support from key stakeholders. We must bring in new users and activities and stimulate positive growth by creating more vibrant places for Pittsburghers to dine, shop, and attend concerts and movies. We ask the public to be patient as we study the effects of the traffic pattern change. An improved Square will boost housing and retail projects nearby. Ultimately, this will result in Pittsburgh being a better place to live, work and play."
Business owners in the Square have addressed concerns over what they feel is an underutilized public asset. "Buses produce big ruts in the historic cobblestone brick, making it harder for pedestrians to walk and negatively affecting the Square's value," said Jeff Joyce, President of the Market Square Association and owner of The 1902 Tavern. "Businesses would like to see Market Square turned into a plaza that is vibrant with pedestrians, with traffic only around the perimeter. Finally, we have a Mayor who understands the history and potential of Market Square."
The change in bus traffic comes at a busy time in the Square's programming. Starting tomorrow, the Three Rivers Arts Festival will include public art activities in Market Square's stage area, as well as PPG's Wintergarden. "We are proud and honored to be a partner in the revitalization of Market Square," said Elizabeth Reiss, executive director of the Three Rivers Arts Festival. "We are thrilled that the Mayor's Office is moving forward in finding ways to make Market Square more pedestrian friendly, business friendly, and ultimately a place that sets the example for redesigning public space in other cities."
This will affect 21 bus routes: 51E West Mifflin-Jefferson, 58C McKeesport Express, 58P Port Vue-Liberty Express, 58V Versailles Express, 61A East Pittsburgh-Wilkinsburg, 61B Braddock-Swissvale, 61C McKeesport-Homestead, 61D Summerset, 61F Homestead Park, 67A Monroeville, 67C Laketon Road, 67E Greensburg Pike, 67F Trafford, 67H Squirrel Hill, 67J Lincoln Highway, 68F Trafford Express, 68J Lincoln Highway Express, 71A Negley, 71C Wilkinsburg-East Liberty, 71D Hamilton and 501 Manchester-Wilkinsburg.
All 51E and 67A-C-E-F-H-J buses will operate inbound by turning from Forbes Avenue left onto Wood Street, right onto the Boulevard of the Allies, right onto Commonwealth Avenue, right onto Liberty Avenue and right onto Stanwix Street. All other affected buses will operate inbound by turning from Forbes Avenue left onto Wood Street, right onto the Boulevard of the Allies and right onto Stanwix Street.
Port Authority customers are advised to expect possible delays in travel times due to this detour, and some stops may be temporarily discontinued and temporarily established. Riders wishing additional information should contact Port Authority Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or the TTY number, (412) 231-7007, for the speech and hearing impaired.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687