Pittsburgh officials unveil ambitious long-term transportation vision plan | News | Pittsburgh

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Image: Courtesy City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, announced a Vision Mobility plan over 50 years Thu, September 23, sharing the City of Pittsburgh’s ambitious transit goals.

The long-term transportation plan includes ideas for a central terminal, a hyperloop system, an overhead tram system connecting neighborhoods, and new bridges that allow vehicles to cross the Monongahela River from Hazelwood to Hill Top neighborhoods. Pittsburgh executives acknowledged the plans were hugely ambitious and may look fantastic, but said a lot could change in 50 years and wanted to provide a vision for transit in the area.

One feature of the plan involves a multimodal terminal near the city center, which could accommodate stations for a potential hyperloop (a high-speed train enclosed in a tube), vertical vehicles, and overhead tram systems over the next 50 years. . Hyperloop is a system that could send passengers or cargo through low pressure tubes at high speed, but the technology has largely not been tested and has drawn criticism.

“It may be tempting to dismiss the 2070 Mobility Vision plan as fantastic or bold,” Ricks said on September 23 at a press conference in the Strip District, “but that would be a mistake. Fifty years is a long time. , and a lot is going to change Look how much that has changed over the past 50 years.

Another note on the details of the plan using gondolas, aka aerial streetcars, to connect Mount Washington to the North Rim, connecting the Strip District to Carrick and connecting the Hill District, Oakland, Hazelwood and the South Side along the way . This part of the plan aligns a bit with the Allegheny County Ports Authority’s long-term plan, which also calls for the use of overhead trams as a means of connecting the Strip District to Hazelwood, via the Hill District. .

For three years, elected municipal officials worked to build this vision of mobility. They designed it to work with a downtown mobility plan released in May; another long-term regional plan revealed last year by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the agency that manages transit projects in the region. Overall, the goal of the 50-year project is to reduce congestion and pollution by inspiring people to use public transport, shared rides or bicycles rather than driving alone in a car.

Other long-term intentions include improving the short-distance journeys that can be made without a car, ensuring that households do not spend more than 40% of their income on housing and mobility, and that everything everyone inside the city can get hold of fresh fruit and vegetables within 15 minutes without a car.

“What this plan is is not a concrete plan,” Peduto said. “It’s a plan that adapts to technological developments and to changes in mobility and to changing neighborhood priorities.

The plan’s announcement also came the day before Ricks’ last day as head of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. Ricks, under Peduto, focused on making city streets safer and more pedestrian, cyclist, transit riders, and drivers friendly by redesigning streets to slow traffic. She also helped launch a multimodal mobility pilot program that brought electric scooters to the city.

In other transit-related news, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week announced that the Port Authority will receive $ 216.9 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants from the US Department of Transportation, which helps them avoid layoffs and further cutbacks in services.

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