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Slopes updated on neighborhood concerns


Last updated 2/3/2022 at 5:43pm

The January meeting of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) began with a listing of the various ways to contact the organization.

President Blake McLaren cited;; or 412-376-7373. The SSSNA can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

He also said the meeting was being recorded, and would be available on YouTube.

In South Side Park news, an informational meeting on the bike pump track coming to the park will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Arlington Civic Council at the Arlington Recreation Center, 2201 Salisbury St.

To a request to explain what a bike pump track is, it is a one-way track that goes up and down and around; a bike does not require pedaling but rather riders pump with their bodies.

"There are not many in western Pennsylvania," Mr. McLaren said.

The park's ADA trail, proposed to run near the Bandi Schaum Community Garden, was scheduled for city approval at a Jan. 26 meeting.

A meeting is scheduled regarding a storm water management plan to address the runoff from the plateau to the parking lot.

Trees continue to be lost in South Side Park due to infestation. Reforestation is being pursued.

Volunteer days are held from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Saturdays.

For more information on South Side Park, email .

In her update, state Rep. Jessica Benham, 36th District, said she introduced a bill that expands tuition waivers for state universities for youngsters in "kinship care." The latter refers to family members taking care of the children of relatives who are unable to do so themselves for various reasons.

Due to COVID, she will not be holding large events this time of year as they would require indoor venues.

The next event will be a senior fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 6 in the Brentwood Civic Center parking lot.

Rep. Benham ended her report by introducing her new chief of staff, Dan Gladis, who is a Slopes resident.

Next, Bob Charland, of the Office of city Councilman Bruce Kraus, said the 18th St. signals upgrade project for pedestrian safety will be advertised in March, with work beginning in the fall.

The hope is to complete the project in 2022, although the traffic engineer said there may be supply chain issues.

The intersections will be redesigned at Sarah St., Jane St., Mary St., Josephine St., Mission St., Arlington Ave., and Amanda St. The traffic signal upgrades include: gloss black signal poles; audible countdown pedestrian signals; and more.

Next, Laura Drogowski, of the new Office of Community Health and Safety, spoke on homelessness.

This year, Second Avenue Commons, near the Municipal Courts building, is expected to open for the homeless. The 42,000-square-foot, five-story facility will have 45 units of single occupancy and up to 200 emergency shelter beds.

To be located at 700 Second Ave., it is a collaboration among the city and county, PNC, Highmark Health, and UPMC.

Currently, shelters are turning people away due to limited capacities, which is why tents are appearing on city sidewalks, she said. But efforts are underway to extend capacities.

See the city's, or "Pittsburgh's Safety Net Web-App," a free web app providing easy-to-use listings of free services. The "live help" line can be used to help others.

An attendee commented that occupants abandoned an encampment under the 10th St. footbridge, leaving trash which volunteers cleaned up.

Ms. Drogowski said to email her empty locations and she would have someone clean up.

Next, city neighborhood planner Thomas Scharff said he works closely with Mr. McLaren and the team around the DAMs.

A DAM provides an opportunity for citizens, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders to learn about the proposals that affect them and to resolve concerns at an early stage of the application process.

A DAM was held on Sept. 23 to review the proposed construction addition and conversion to multi-unit residential at 32 and 44 Pius St at the St. Michael's School building.

In an update, the project is on hold until a judge decides on litigation before the court.

In committee updates, nothing is happening with StepTrek planning during the winter. The planning will start when the weather breaks.

The annual non-competitive, self-guided walking tour of the Slopes held annually in early October is the organization's biggest fundraiser.

In the beautification report, a chairperson is sought. The first clean-up will be held in late March or early April.

In governance, new board members are sought. A potential upcoming issue will be by-law changes.

The next public meeting of the SSSNA will be on March 8.


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