A Great Route Pilot Project 

A "Great Route" will demonstrate what a high quality pedestrian experience could feel like in Downtown Pittsburgh.  This pilot project is an outcome of the work that Envision Downtown undertook with renown urban design firm Gehl Studio. Gehl's public space survey found that the streetscape and sidewalks in Downtown were of mixed condition creating an uncomfortable and sometimes challenging walking experience for all user types.

The focus of this project will be to create an engaging, consistent and coherent walking experience that is accessible for all. Along a route that connects Point State Park to Steel Plaza T station, by way of the Gateway Islands, Market Square and Mellon Square, Envision will look to fill in and improve areas of poor quality infrastructure and amenities. Work will include pedestrian lighting, sidewalk repair, creation of a complete tree canopy, increased public seating opportunities, introduction of public art, and crosswalk safety enhancements. 

Phase I

Phase I of a "Great Route" will consist of both infrastructure improvements and the introduction of public art and programming in the Gateway area of Downtown Pittsburgh. The work for the Phase I will be completed in April/May 2017.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements

  • Enhanced, high visibility "bridge motif" crosswalks at select intersections
  • Raised crosswalk on inbound side of Liberty Avenue to slow traffic entering town from the parkway
  • Realignment of crossings to better fit pedestrian desire lines and reduce jaywalking
  • Paint and bollard treatment to to increase protection and visibility of crossing pedestrians 
  • Realignment of travel lanes on Penn Avenue extension to improve efficiency of traffic flow, add full time parking lane and reduce pedestrian crossing distance

Transit Amenities

  • Addition of new sidewalk extension to house current inbound Liberty Avenue transit stop
    • Extension will improve efficiency of transit services by keeping them in traffic
    • Extension will also improve the visibility of crossing pedestrians to general traffic 

Public Art and Programming

Envision is working with a group of City and Regional organizations to explore the opportunity to integrate public art and other programmatic elements into the project. Current discussions include:

  • Working with a landscape architect Envision will install a design framework that playfully uses sidewalk graphics to connect the area between the park and the square, drawing pedestrians from one public space to the next
  • Larger scale public art projects at two key locations
  • Complimentary artwork that showcases the new planting of the Gateway Islands as part of the Redbud Project from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Art as wayfinding and/or public seating