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New City Plan Aims To Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities With Lighting, Improved Sidewalks

A residential street in Bloomfield.
Avery Keatley
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh plan to begin to make some city sidewalks ADA compliant by the end of 2021.

The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure released its plan Wednesday to improve safety and accessibility conditions for pedestrians over the next decade.

City officials hope the plan will offer “clear steps toward making walking safer and more attractive in Pittsburgh, ultimately encouraging more people to choose to walk for most short trips.”

The plan lays out a number of policy and infrastructure improvements that are meant to help reduce crashes involving pedestrians and make city streets safer.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau cited in the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, 11.3% of Pittsburgh residents walk or bike to work, but “pedestrian fatalities are overrepresented as a proportion of total roadway fatalities.” Though a data analysis from the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association found that from 2019 to 2020, pedestrian fatalities in Pennsylvania went down 18%.

Over the next ten years, the City will do research to identify places where infrastructure investments are needed -- like improving lighting at high-risk intersections, making sidewalks ADA compliant, and ensuring that pedestrian spaces like sidewalks and walkways are connected and easy to navigate.

The plan was developed by DOMI and the Federal Highway Administration, along with a group of local stakeholders from the Pittsburgh Complete Streets Advisory Committee. The plan is part of a broader push from city officials to ensure that streets can accommodate multiple forms of transportation, like pedestrians and bikers.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at