Long awaited sidewalk planned for Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood | Pittsburgh City Paper

Long awaited sidewalk planned for Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood

click to enlarge Long awaited sidewalk planned for Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood
CP photo by Ryan Deto
Marchers on Irvine Street in Hazelwood in 2018
For years, Hazelwood residents have wished Pittsburgh officials would improve the sidewalk along Irvine Street to ensure residents could walk safely out of the neighborhood. Residents constantly complained about the unmaintained sidewalk and how dangerous it could be.

Fortunately, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure announced on Dec. 17 their plans to improve the sidewalk along Irvine Street between Hazelwood and Greenfield avenues.

Dan Gilman, Peduto’s Chief of Staff, tweeted on Dec. 16 that was “excited to see this community priority launch to provide safe pedestrian routes in Hazelwood.”

The DOMI project intends to provide a safe pedestrian connection along Irvine Street that would create a better pedestrian passage heading north to Greenfield, a desire of the neighboring communities for some time.

For over three years, residents of Hazelwood have demanded the city to improve the sidewalk along the corridor. In 2018, a dozen residents marched down Irvine to emphasize the lack of safe pedestrian and cyclist access in the neighborhood. Irvine currently has one sidewalk, but many sections of it are overgrown, with uneven pavement and parked cars forcing pedestrians into the roadway. Some sections of the sidewalk end abruptly and don't start again for extended lengths.

“We share our valley with 10,000 cars and 60 trains a day,” said Hazelwood resident Connor Sites-Bowen in 2018. “We just want pedestrian- and bike-access for our neighborhood. … If we can't leave our own neighborhood, we are in a prison.”

Sites-Bowen said then that Irvine Street wasn't suited for cyclists or pedestrians. The speed limit on Irvine is set at 25 mph, but Sites-Bowen says drivers usually move upwards of 40 mph. Another Hazelwood resident. Christian Williams sometimes said cars driving along Irvine Street would not avoid pedestrians, even when pedestrians are forced to enter the road.

DOMI will work to rebuild the sidewalk and provide ADA ramps that will be reconstructed on the east side of Irvine Street. The new $1.2 million construction project involves replacing the current sidewalk, curbs, and curb ramps along Irvine Street to provide safe access for pedestrians and cyclists. Construction is planned to begin in the spring of 2022.