Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part VIII
Pittsburgh Quarterly invited readers and neighbors to offer up their best ideas for improving the region through the Spring 2019 Pittsburgh Tomorrow Contest. The 13 finalists chosen by the Pittsburgh Today advisory board were published online and in the Fall 2019 issue of the magazine. But the ideas of another nearly three dozen thinkers made the semifinal round out of the 115 who submitted proposals that ranged from grand to humble in scope. Here is the last installment of the thoughts of our semifinalists.
Rail, Bike to Mon Valley
“Pittsburgh needs to replace the Norfolk Southern Railroad line between Manchester and Mckeesport with a commuter rail line and bike highway. The transportation of dangerous cargo such as explosive crude oil through the middle of Pittsburgh should end. This corridor would provide the mass public transit the area badly needs.”
“It’s no secret that when a community is strong, so is its city. When residents feel healthy, secure, empowered, and passionate, they pour that into every aspect of their lives. This, in turn, positively impacts their city in countless and priceless ways. One of the keys of cultivating that type of community is to ensure that everyone feels included. From blacks to whites, to immigrants and Yinzers, male and female, old and young—Pittsburgh belongs to all of us. Which is why I’m proposing that, visually, it represents us.
“I’m a North Side resident and often walk the local parks and trails. I also work downtown and routinely pass buildings such as the City-County Building. When I pass a statue or historical plaque, it’s usually honoring a white male or a group of white men. It’s important to honor those who have played a vital role in shaping Pittsburgh or who have accomplished amazing things here. Yet, as a woman currently contributing to the city I love, I’m constantly wondering, ‘What about the amazing women or minorities who have helped to shape our city or are shaping it today?’
“I propose a project to erect modern statues and plaques throughout Pittsburgh that honor women and minorities who have impacted our community—historically and in the present. I also propose that a committee primarily consisting of women and minorities determine who to honor. Let’s not just say that Pittsburgh is inclusive and welcome to all, but show it with our money, actions and hearts, and, in doing so, plant powerful seeds of change to ensure that Pittsburgh is always a city of both today and tomorrow.”
Downtown Neighborhoods Association
“A Downtown Neighborhoods Association would be a monthly forum to bring together the elected heads of those neighborhood associations that are immediately contiguous to the Triangle or their designates. The purpose is to share information and work on issues of common concern, the rationale being that innovations are shared, mistakes will not be repeated and common causes might be bolstered by collective efforts. Support staff would include planning, social services and safety representatives, and others as needed.”
—G. J. Heer
A New Festival
“pghFest would be a tourism promotion event that would help in bringing more tourists to Pittsburgh. The two-day festival would have activities geared for women, men and the whole family. Highlights include such features as Black Friday in July with special discounts by stores and malls, sports activities, activities at Steelers, Pens and Pirates stadiums, evening and night entertainment, music at Point State Park and boat rides in the night. If well promoted and organized, the festival should bring positive economic benefit to Pittsburgh.”
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part I” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part II” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part III” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part IV” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part V” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part VI” here.
Read “Ideas for a Better Pittsburgh: Semifinalists, Part VII” here.