Allegheny County is holding a public meeting on Wednesday to gather input on the Allegheny Valley Community Trails Initiative. The project would expand the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and ultimately link Pittsburgh to Erie and Harrisburg.
"It connects 17 municipalities to the trail, and the multi-municipal planning piece is really important to these riverfront communities," said Darla Cravotta, special projects coordinator with Allegheny County.
It provides more access to communities that otherwise might not get a lot of recreational traffic. This comes at a time when, nationally, more and more bike trails are popping up — trails that are no longer isolated corridors that don't go anywhere.
"They're now long, skinny parks that can take us places. We can eventually go from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.; from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, from Cumberland to Washington, D.C. Well the same can be said about going from Pittsburgh to Erie, and Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, too, so they're no longer these insular things where people can ride around in a circle. There are places people can actually go," said Cravotta.
The trails initiative is a public-private, multi-municipal project that is still in the beginning phases. A feasibility study has been conducted, and on Wednesday, November 30th, public input on the project will be taken. The meeting begins at 6:00 PM at the Harmer Township Municipal Building, 701 Freeport Road, Cheswick, PA.
Cravotta said that even when a final plan is adopted, trail development will be a long-term project, with completion likely years away.