Public forum on the Strip District Transportation and Land Use Project, Tuesday July 17

On Tuesday July 17, the City planning office will hold a public forum on the Strip District Transportation and Land Use Project.  This is connected with the transportation and safety recommendations for the Allegheny Riverfront Vision and the SPS Regional Safety Audit at Liberty Avenue.

This forum will take place at the Guardian Storage Building, 2839 Liberty Avenue (just outside of Polish Hill).  Sessions will be held from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m..  Free parking is available opposite the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at 2900 Liberty Avenue.

More information on this event, c/o Pittsburh City Planning:

The Strip District Transportation and Land Use Project is meant to provide a level of feasibility for a series of transportation and safety improvements. Over the course of the project we will develop visualizations to help stakeholders “see” and experience the features and benefits of specific improvements, while maintaining an open line of communication in order to discuss trade-offs. On a more technical basis, future land use goals will be related to alternative funding strategies that can allow the City of Pittsburgh to move ahead with implementation, potentially without the need for major federal subsidy.

Previous studies have recommended pursuing transportation improvements such as a streetcar connecting the Cultural District Downtown through the Strip District and into Lawrenceville. There are a number of recommendations for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian movements through the Strip. Recommendations have been made along Liberty Avenue, Penn Avenue and Smallman Street to address pedestrian safety. Movement and access for wholesale operations could be improved upon. Creating strong connections along 21st Street toward the river has been envisioned, and a new transit station at 21st Street along the Busway has been proposed. It has even been suggested that we re-introduce an Incline connecting the Hill District with the Strip District.

What does that all look like? Where would it go? How do we pay for it? Those are some of the questions that we intend to address over the course of the next few months. The process includes the Issues Forum on July 17th and is centered upon a 6-Day Charrette Design Studio with multiple public engagements in September (September 10th-15th). Project updates will soon be available through Department of City Planning website.

Please feel free to contact the Department of City Planning with any questions.

Farmers markets are opening for the season

The Post-Gazette just published an extensive list of  just about every farmers market and farm stand in the region.  The Public Market is a great resource for local produce, other food items, and crafts, and we also love the farmers market at the Firehouse.

Farmers@Firehouse is at 2216 Penn Ave., next to the Firehouse restaurant. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat. May 7 to Nov. 19. Mostly organic and naturally grown produce, local meat and poultry. Chef demos weekly. Sponsored by Slow Food Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Public Market is at 2100 Smallman St. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun. year-round.

Another farmer’s market that’s easy for Polish Hill residents to get to –the 54 stops right across the street– is the North side Farmers Market, at E. Ohio St. and Cedar Ave. across from Allegheny General Hospital. 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Runs Fri. May 13 to Nov. 18).

(Photo borrowed from the Taste of Pittsburgh)

Eat at J'eet!

J’eet is named for that classic Pittsburgh contraction, as in “did you eat?”.  This great little restaurant isn’t in Polish Hill, but it’s close by, right near Penn and Main, and we strongly suggest that you check it out.  The menu features crepes, both savory and sweet, but there are also great sandwiches, salads, and soups.

The food is really, really good and it’s presented beautifully.  The prices seem almost too low, and the staff are friendly and accommodating (they split checks with a smile!).  The space is also warm and appealing–and while the weather’s still nice, the deck outside is available.

J’eet has a coffee window and treats starting at 7 am; the kitchen is open from 11 am to 9 pm.  It’s a great place for dinner, and the Sunday brunch is wonderful.  Hours are Monday-Friday 7 am to 9 pm; kitchen hours are 11 am to 9 pm.  Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm.  Delivery is available.  Here is the full menu; call 412.682.5338 for more information.

If you’d like to hear what other people have said about J’eet, check out this 2009 City paper review.  This is a great, very affordable restaurant that deserves to be crowded at all times.  Please support this fabulous establishment!

Pittsburgh Marathon is this Sunday!

The Pittsburgh Marathon takes off this Sunday May 2 at 7:30 am at Sunday 14th and Smallman Streets in the Strip.  Registration for the event has already sold out–16,000 people have registered.  Add in spectators, family and friends, and that is one big event that will affect all neighborhoods along the route.

The marathon route starts in the Strip, moves through Bloomfield, Shadyside and Oakland.  The runners then cross the Birmingham Bridge and move through the South Side, then over the West End Bridge, through the Northside, and finish back in the Strip.

If you’re planning to be out and about on Sunday, be aware that from early morning to early afternoon some streets might not be accessible.  For full information on street closure times, check here.  The marathon website has lots of information on events and activities along the route.

One interesting idea the organizers had was to station musicians along the route.  Check out the list of the musical acts–there are dozens!  Polish Hill’s own Joy Toujours will be playing for the runners at the Quik Mart at Liberty and Herron.

Breaking Ground in Friendship

It’s a beautiful day, perfect for starting new projects. Like the groundbreaking ceremony on Penn and Gross Street, in the heart of the Penn Ave Arts Corridor. Three new town homes are slated for gthis corner lot, across the street from Garfield Artworks, in the middle of Unblurred territory. Read more about it on the Post Gazette.

The project is being developed by the Friendship Development Corporation with the assistance of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh