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Under Gainey administration, the future of Peduto's OnePGH is uncertain

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

OnePGH still in the works, but the future is unclear
(0:00 - 7:15) 

In April of last year, then-Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto unveiled the details of OnePGH, a plan for the region’s major nonprofits to make contributions that would be directed to social services, affordable housing, and environmental initiatives.

A few weeks later, Peduto lost the primary election to Ed Gainey. More than a year later, it’s unclear if Gainey will continue OnePGH in a similar format.

Charlie Wolfson, a local government reporter with PublicSource, says it appears Gainey’s administration will prioritize payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) directly to the city.

“They'd rather have the money come directly into their budget,” says Wolfson. “Former Mayor Peduto, his assessment was that he couldn't get the nonprofits to do that. But Mayor Gainey is clearly at least trying to make that happen. They're having negotiations right now with UPMC and Highmark. They're refusing to give really any other information about those meetings other than that they're happening.”

Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak told PublicSource that the administration did not intend to use OnePGH as a funnel for funding from organizations like UPMC and other large nonprofits.

BikePGH is encouraging Pittsburghers to hit the streets on two wheels next week 
(7:22 - 15:56)

Over the last two years, summers have looked very different in Pittsburgh. The typical slate of events either migrated to the web or were simply canceled. While COVID-19 is still a concern, some events are coming back. BikePGH is the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization in the city, and it's returning with a full slate of programming this summer, the first of which starts at the end of this month.

This summer, BikePGH is hosting OpenStreetsPGH, a recurring event where routes along the city are blocked off, making room for bikers and pedestrians to experience downtown Pittsburgh without motor traffic.

“This event is demonstrative. So, it shows people what that space could be like… if only there wasn't so much of that space dedicated to car traffic,” says Kéya Joseph, director of events for BikePGH. “If there was more thought put into designing a space for humans, opening it up, not having as much car traffic passing through, you really get a vibrancy and a level of people-centered spaces.”

To kick off the summer, the organization has also designated next week “Bike Anywhere Week,” and is encouraging people to bike to work and participate in programming all week. One of the events is aConfident City Cycling class, which will help cyclists navigate the complex streets of Pittsburgh. These classes have become more popular as adults picked the hobby back up during the pandemic.

“We've already found a lot of people who are like… ‘I'm here at this class because, like, I don't actually know anything. The last time I rode a bike, I was 12 years old,’” says Joseph.

BikePGH’s schedule of events for Bike Anywhere Week can be found on its website.

GOP candidates for governor hope to increase the state’s creation of fossil fuels
(15:59 - 22:30)

Republican candidates for governor spent less than 15 minutes during recent televised debates talking about energy and environmental issues.

Climate change was barely mentioned.

Even though the most recent international climate reports say greenhouse gas emissions must be cut immediately to avoid the worst effects of climate change, those vying for the GOP nomination said they want to ramp up fossil fuel production.

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Rachel McDevitt reports on where the candidates stand.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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