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As Development Booms, Brainstorming Begins For Second Avenue's Future

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Pittsburgh's Second Avenue provides access to the South Side, the Parkway East, and an important connection to the South Hills. But the already congested road won't be able to support planned development along its length.

Second Avenue in Pittsburgh is a busy east-west roadway that takes travelers from Downtown through Uptown, past links to the South Side and Greenfield, and on through Hazelwood to the Glennwood Bridge. It’s an important route and fated to become even more critical due to developments planned along its length, such as the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission kicked off a study of the corridor in October, and regional officials are looking for feedback on how people use the road. The first in a series of public meetings will be held Tuesday evening. 

Second Avenue is already congested with cars – more than 18,000 cars daily travel the arterial, most with just one occupant – and expanding the road is not an option, said Dominic D’Andrea, manager of operations and safety programs at the commission.

“It’s going to necessitate a behavioral change,” he said. “But that’s a behavioral change that needs to be encouraged by available services and available mobility.”

That could include more bus routes or expanded bike trails. Pedestrian and cyclist advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh noted gaps in the trail and on-street network that make it difficult to commute on foot or by bike to some of the most dense job areas in the city.

D’Andrea said the hope is to provide a long-range vision for the route that enables economic growth and safe travel while also enhancing livability in the neighborhoods along the corridor.

“If you don’t study and implement future solutions you end up with more of the same, which in this case is an uncomfortable corridor for all users.”

The project requires the cooperation of the city, Allegheny County, PennDOT, the Port Authority and the public.

A meeting to gather feedback from the public is set for Tue., Feb. 19 from 5-7 p.m. at 300 Saline Street in the Run section of Greenfield at Local 95 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. Dates and locations of subsequent meetings are not yet set.

Possible solutions for Second Avenue will be proposed in June.