November 2017 Update

Proposed Roadway (Mobility Trail)
Through Panther Hollow and
Four Mile Run

November 14 & 15, 2017 Meetings
at the Jewish Community Center.

By Carlino Giampolo

These meetings are the third attempt by city leaders and their supporters to propose a roadway through the Panther Hollow and Four Mile Run neighborhoods. The residents there have been adamantly opposed to such proposals, and will continue to be, now and in the future.

The motivation of the proponents lays at the root cause of many problems in our world today: lack of human dignity. These individuals are fully aware of the residents’ tremendous fear, anxiety, and worry—yet they continue their attempts. They are aware of the 85-year-old grandmother and lifelong Panther Hollow resident who felt these worries, and who died from a heart condition last year without knowing if the city’s roadway grant application would lead to this problem in her neighborhood. Sadly, proponents are more concerned about condoning the uncontrolled growth of Pitt and CMU, and economic profits generated from the old Almono site.

Panther Hollow, one of Pittsburgh’s first Italian neighborhoods, is sacred and beloved by many. Many bicyclists commend the beauty, peace, and serenity of Panther Hollow, and the fact that it is one of the safest neighborhoods to traverse through. Not many areas in the city of Pittsburgh have the honor of their residents having their ashes scattered in the neighborhoods they loved. This is our Panther Hollow, but proponents of the roadway do not value that sacredness or the history of this treasured neighborhood.

Many proponents of the roadway have not visited Panther Hollow, or if they have, never took the time to personally meet any of the residents. Among the proponents are the leaders of Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, which are the owners of the old Almono site. These individuals do everything in their power to foster the uncontrolled growth of Pitt and CMU, yet none of them would ever want these universities to be ensconced in the neighborhoods where they live.

There are others who are connected to Panther Hollow in one way or another, yet shamefully support this roadway. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is a fierce supporter of the roadway, and last month became angry when told that Karina Ricks would not file an application for federal Tiger Funds. He remarked: She is not the decision maker. However, his mother-in-law was born and raised in Panther Hollow and played with the other children there until her family moved to Greenfield. Her family’s name is still inscribed on a plaque, at the monument site in the neighborhood, that bears the names of 95 Italian families who lived there.

Mayor William Peduto, who was first elected on the promise of being the “Neighborhood Mayor”, often talks in public forums about his grandfather’s own Italian immigrant experience. That experience is not dissimilar to the hundreds of Italian immigrants who settled in Panther Hollow beginning in the 1880s. His chief of staff, Kevin Acklin, resided in Oakland and graduated from Central Catholic High School, with many other students from Panther Hollow.

Residents of Panther Hollow and Four Mile Run promise to continue to protect and preserve our neighborhoods. (See attached Drive Times from Saline Street to Oakland, and 12 Solutions).

Drive Times from Saline Street to Oakland

November 10, 2017

Saline Street to Second Avenue to Brady Street to Forbes Avenue

On November 9, 2017 at an Oakland community meeting concerning changes to be made to Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes and Fifth Avenues, a city planner mentioned that Forbes Avenue is under capacity and can accommodate an additional 7,000 vehicles.

7:00 am – 3 Minutes 12 Seconds

10:00 am – 3 Minutes 54 Seconds

2:00 pm – 4 Minutes 19 Seconds

4:00 pm – 3 Minutes 36 Seconds

Saline Street to Greenfield Avenue to the Greenfield Bridge to the Boulevard of the Allies and Hobart Road

From Hobart Road, drivers can be on the CMU or Pitt campuses in under 3 Minutes.

7:30 am – 4 Minutes 11 Seconds

10:30 am – 3 Minutes 31 Seconds

2:30 pm – 4 Minutes 55 Seconds

4:30 pm – 4 Minutes 19 Seconds

Saline Street to Swinburne Street to Boulevard of the Allies

8:00 am – 2 Minutes 21 Seconds

11:00 am – 2 Minutes 25 Seconds

3:00 pm – 2 Minutes 32 Seconds

5:00 pm – 2 Minutes 51 Seconds

12 Solutions

November 14 & 15, 2017 Meetings at the Jewish Community Center. By Carlino Giampolo

1) Three viable vehicle alternatives for travel from Saline Street to Oakland currently exist – without impacting the neighborhoods of Panther Hollow or Four Mile Run: a) Via Second Avenue to Brady Street to Forbes Avenue; b) Via Greenfield Avenue to the Greenfield Bridge to the Boulevard of the Allies; or c) Via Greenfield Avenue to Swinburne Street to the Boulevard of the Allies.

2) Express public buses must be employed from the old Almono site in Hazelwood to Oakland. Such buses leaving the site and traveling down Second Avenue onto Brady Street underneath the Birmingham Bridge would be on Forbes Avenue in Oakland in approximately seven minutes at most times of the day. A city planner mentioned at an Oakland meeting last week that Forbes Avenue is not operating at full capacity, and can accommodate an additional 7,000 vehicles.

3) If needed, an additional roadway could be built adjacent to Brady Street for the exclusive use of buses.

4) The watershed problems that residents of Four Mile Run have suffered for far too long must be addressed immediately, and be given the city’s complete attention instead of the plans to build a roadway through Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow.

5) Instead of the Almono site’s future tenants traveling to the universities in Oakland, Pitt and CMU must downsize in Oakland and expand at the Almono site to satisfy the tenants’ needs,

6) A fundamental focus for the development of the Almono site must be the enhancement of the quality of life in the neighborhood of Hazelwood.

7) There must be a moratorium on any further expansion by universities and developers in Oakland.

8) There must be honest in-depth Impact Statements on how any future development plans in Oakland affect its longtime residents.

9) Plans for any future expansion or major projects by universities and developers in Oakland must be presented to the city council for approval.

10) The local media must end their silence and not sit by idly as Oakland becomes systematically destroyed by its two major universities and developers, both in the residential and business districts.

11) If the city of Pittsburgh wants to be known as the Silicon Valley of the East, then its leaders and decision-makers must use their innovative and creative skills to resolve their problems without negatively impacting the neighborhoods of Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow.

12) Human dignity must be the highest priority in any decision-making, for when that belief is fully understood and implemented, problems become easier to resolve the right way.