Walking along Homewood’s major corridors may get a little easier: The Urban Redevelopment Authority has approved pedestrian improvements concentrated around Braddock, Hamilton and Homewood avenues.
The changes are touted as a way to spruce up Homewood's business district, and construction is expected to begin next spring.
The improvements include a total overhaul of sidewalks along Tioga Street, and new lighting, trees and trash receptacles on Homewood Avenue. Wheelchair-accessible ramps will be added to some sidewalks, and speed humps will be installed on Finance Street to discourage speeding.
Jerome Jackson is executive director of Operation Better Block, a nonprofit aimed at improving life in Homewood.
"It'll brighten up the street a little bit, it'll brighten up the area," Jackson said. "We're hoping that because of these improvements, that it will attract new businesses to that corridor as well."
The Port Authority of Allegheny County will be involved in Homewood improvements, specifically the Homewood Avenue Busway Bridge will be renovated. Chief Development Officer David Huffaker said it would be easy for PAT to just redo what's there.
"However, if there's a way to enhance what's there, make it used by more people and make it more accessible, that would be a win not just for us but for the communities that we serve," Huffaker said.