Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor
After Pittsburgh received a $500,000 grant in late March from Pennsylvania’s Multimodal Transportation fund, Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes and Fifth avenues could see safety improvements starting in the fall.
The full project is expected to cost $4.5 million, and now, with just $1 million to raise to reach the funding goal, the City will begin reviewing what construction can begin as soon as possible, according to Karina Ricks, director of the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.
“I would say the project is in the almost-ready-to-go stage,” Ricks said to the Post-Gazette. “There is till a gap [in funding] we have to bring together, but we’re going to look and see what we can start now.”
The idea of the project, which was announced in November 2017, is to move the crosswalk closer to Forbes Avenue to avoid being directly adjacent to Pitt shuttle buses parked outside the Cathedral of Learning. Cutouts will be created near the current Fifth Avenue Pitt shuttle stop to move the campus shuttle buses away from traffic. Two lanes for motor vehicles will remain, one in each direction, with planters on each side and bike alongs along the curb. In addition, limited parallel parking space will remain outside of the Cathedral.
According to Paul Supowitz, the University’s vice chancellor for community and government relations, the University is in support of the plan.“We think we’re moving ahead with a project that will enhance safety for everyone,” Supowitz said to the Post-Gazette. “We’re almost to the point where we have to do something. This is a very heavily used corridor and the pedestrians far outnumber the vehicles.”