Amidst renovations throughout the Strip District, Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) hosted a public “Market Workshop” Thursday to hear community commentary on the state of the neighborhood's development.
Attendees at the informal event, which was held at the 20th and Penn Market, were encouraged to provide feedback by placing sticky notes on poster boards of outcome potentials.
Residents at the meeting advocated for improvements like increased access for cyclists, better parking options, and more greenery along the Penn Avenue walkways. On one poster board sticky note, a resident pleaded that “protected bike lanes are much better than mere paint on asphalt.” Another wrote, “keep some parking but make this more walkable and safe for pedestrians."
Anna Tang, community organizer for BikePGH, a local cycling advocacy and education group, said the organization was there to promote their “Extend Penn” efforts, looking to create “a safe connection through the Strip District” from Penn Ave. to the neighborhoods east of the Strip. BikePGH was among those who pushed the city to take a comprehensive look at renovations in the Strip District, according to Tang.
Port Authority director of service planning and scheduling Phillip St. Pierre said the optimal Strip District plan for Port Authority is “the plan that meets the community's needs,” and added that the workshop offered a space to better “learn what those needs are and how to best serve those needs.”
Angela Martinez, the principal planner at DOMI, said with these events, DOMI is “asking people, ‘How would you make the Strip a better place?’” She continued that community input addresses the fact that the city has “limited public investments.”
She said that the residents who attend these events inform these allocation decisions.
But Karina Ricks, the director of DOMI, said that they “recognize that the people that come to these meetings are only one segment of the total stakeholder group, and so we do have to balance what we get from these meetings with what data tells us.”
Residents and stakeholders can provide more feedback at DOMI's Saturday event, a "Pop Up Parklet," on the corner of 20th and Penn Avenue at 10 a.m.