Sunday, May 26, 2013

Redesigning Saw Mill Run Boulevard, a major gateway between Pittsburgh and the South Hills.

Currently, Saw Mill Run Boulevard, which carries the designation of Pennsylvania State Highway 51, is a busy thoroughfare built in the 1920s.  The four-lane highway is not only plagued with congestion in many parts, but the corridor itself is lined with a series of derelict structures, many of which have sat vacant for over a decade.  Ownership of those pieces of property have prevented any revitalization or roadway enhancement project from moving forward.

As of a few years ago, some business leaders and municipal workers from Baldwin, Brentwood, Whitehall, as well as the City of Pittsburgh have collaborated to develop a master plan to rebuild Saw Mill Run Boulevard (Clairton Road south of Brownsville Road in Brentwood).  This collaboration, called Economic Development South, plans to turn this corridor into a landscaped boulevard attractive to business development as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.  Their vision for this stretch of Route 51 includes:

  • Rebuilt four-lane roadway with either landscaped median or tree-lined curbs to calm the speeds of vehicular traffic.
  • Redevelopment of the existing buildings to allow for best use of the land and to promote business and economic development
  • Improved transit access (i.e. transit shelters, wider sidewalks) to encourage recreational activity and promote a safe environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.