A guest post by residents Jen Kirk and Patrick Singleton:
Hello fellow residents,
Here’s another Port Authority Update courtesy of the public hearing held on September 15, 2009 at the Downtown Marriott.
The Port Authority held a public hearing this week to discuss resident concerns over the recently released proposed final draft of upcoming transit changes. As previously detailed in this post the 54C will stay on Polish Hill; in fact it looks as if our service will be increased!
On Tuesday, we headed down to the public hearing to get the skinny on all that we could about what the proposed changes meant for Polish Hill. First, we passed on positive sentiments about the plan for the 54 to ensure that Bob and Sherri of the Port Authority knew that we liked the increased service.
The Port Authority representatives then assured us it was the huge response they received over the phone and through emails that ensured that the 54C will maintain its route through Polish Hill. Citizen response has assured that we still have bus service through the heart of Polish Hill! Thank you to each and every person that helped keep the 54C on our streets.
The only major change on the 54C route is service to the Mt. Oliver section of the city. That was a subject that was being brought up by Mt. Oliver residents at the public hearing, so it may still be open to change.
The other major 54C news is that the Port Authority representatives told us that with the current plans, the 54 route will be the only one that maintains a number-letter name. Since the 54 will have two variations, the one through Lawrenceville will likely remain the 54C and the one through Polish Hill may become the 54D (54-Dobson anyone?). This should make ridership easier, and it will be nice to have a bus line that proudly proclaims its route through our streets!
In other parts of the plan, access to Polish Hill will be affected on its borders. The 77A and the 77C have been eliminated from Bigelow Blvd, however that has caused 77B service to increase. The 77B will now also run on Sundays, taking over some of the 77A’s former passengers. For those that were excited about increased 100 service via the East Busway in both directions, this was unfortunately a typo in the Port Authority report; while the 100 will increase its frequency and run between Oakland and Robinson, it will still take the East Busway to Oakland and return to Downtown via Boulevard of the Allies. Also on the East Busway, the EBA and EBS routes will be renamed the P1 and P2 respectively and will still offer us the quickest access to Downtown from anywhere in the city.
While little new information was provided at the public hearing, we were reassured that not only were our voices were heard but that they made a difference. Bob, one of the Port Authority representatives that we spoke with, remembered specific comments and emails received during the write-in process.
Want your voices to be heard again? You can still comment on the Final Draft until September 30. Comments may be submitted via the Port Authority Web site, tdp.portauthority.org, in writing, or by calling 412-566-5437 or the TTY line at 412-231-7007 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Bob wanted us to remind residents that positive comments go as far as criticisms during planning meetings. They reaffirm that our recommendations have been interpreted correctly!
On a local note, if any residents would like to brainstorm ideas of how we can promote bus ridership to our little village, please contact the PHCA. Patrick and Jen are looking for other bus-oriented residents to help promote our village as a transit-friendly neighborhood!