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Letter from the President – March 2019

Results of an informal survey conducted over the past week show that by a margin of 3:1 local residents believe spring will arrive at some point in 2019. Let’s hope it’s soon and sustained, springtime in Allegheny West is so beautiful we quickly forget these cold, snowy days.

Last month’s hot topics were railroads and parks and they will continue to be high priority topics in our membership meetings. There was some recent news regarding the proposed double-stacked trains running through the Northside when the City of Pittsburgh officially joined us in the fight. The City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure filed legal paperwork to participate in the state Public Utility Commission’s review of Norfolk Southern’s plans. The challenge from the city will likely delay Norfolk Southern’s planned bridge work, slated to start later this year. This is certainly good news but does not put the issue to bed. We need to remain vigilant and continue to let our elected officials know our concerns. I’ve heard from a few neighbors who have contacted their state and local legislators – that’s awesome and hopefully inspiration to the rest of us!

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Listening Tour made a stop at the AWCC Membership Meeting in February. They shared a lot of information about the process the Conservancy will follow to allocate funds to improve city parks. As part of the process they requested residents complete a survey to weigh in on what we love about our parks. If you haven’t yet taken the survey you can find it on their website: pittsburghparks.org

Specifically related to our park, the Park Conservancy folks agreed to join us at another membership meeting to talk about plans for Allegheny Commons and feedback from Allegheny West. Details will be communicated when the schedule is confirmed. (One sign of the Conservancy’s commitment to Allegheny Commons Park – this year’s Spring Hat Luncheon will be held there this May 4th.)

I mentioned previously in this column that one of the priorities of the Housing and Planning Committee, under the direction of Chairman Ashley Webb, is a renewed focus on neighborhood rejuvenation. In 2015-2016, AWCC received a grant and engaged a landscape architecture firm to conduct a study, based on input from neighbors, on areas of improvement that should be addressed in Allegheny West. There were a lot of meetings and discussions at the time and ultimately the Civic Council membership decided to focus on four areas of improvement: street trees and sidewalks, lighting, traffic calming on W North Avenue and Brighton Road and the Mary Cassatt Garden (the garden area in the on-ramp to the Fort Duquesne Bridge). We have a lot of work to do on this initiative, and the first step is getting everyone who wants to participate engaged. Neighborhood Rejuvenation will be on the March 12th AWCC Membership meeting agenda and more information will available over the next few weeks. If you’re ready to sign up now to help, contact me at president@alleghenywest.org and/or Ashley at housing-planning@alleghenywest.org.

Enjoy these waning days of winter and I look forward to seeing everyone emerge from hibernation!

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

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