« Back to Archive

Etna Riverfront Park workshop - 1/10/15

Join Friends of the Riverfront, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, ARTEZ, Environmental Planning & Design, LLC, The Borough of Etna, and Allegheny County this Saturday, January 10 from 9am-1pm at Clarence Fugh Memorial Hall (437 Butler St, Etna) for a Public Design Workshop for the Etna Riverfront Park & Trail! Topics will include project background, including important trail connections to the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, green infrastructure and design elements of the park, and a bus tour of the area. This workshop is FREE to attend and open to the public!
2015-01-07 12:25:53
(Bump/correction -- the meeting is at Fugh Hall, but that building is at 27 Crescent St., just past the baseball field.)
2015-01-10 09:16:50
:( !!!! I just got back from a trip and missed this. Anyone go? I wish the trail could make it from Millvale to Etna/Sharpsburg, that would be amazing! Any news? Seems the RR wants to not allow it anymore, but I don't know. Thanks for any update on this meeting, or a link to anything relating to it.
2015-01-10 19:00:29
The trail is apparently happening, period -- this was about what _else_ will go there. BTW, NSX (the railroad that cuts the site off from the borough) is apparently not only not permitting access via a level crossing, they're forcing the flyover to accommodate double-stack trains--requiring clearance of 23' off the trails--which in turn means the ramps need to be on the order of 350' to be ADA-compliant....
2015-01-10 19:10:05
Thanks Buffalo. It is odd they make some big deal about ground level crossing! JERKS!
2015-01-10 19:20:09
It is odd they make some big deal about ground level crossing! JERKS!
Federal Goverment higly discourages uses of level crossing.
2015-01-11 06:18:07
Does anyone know how far the trail is going to extend? Will it just go to the 62nd St. Bridge, or could it go further?
2015-01-11 09:30:14
The trail is planned through to Freeport… …and beyond, as FOR and others are now referring to this portion as part of the Pittsburgh-Erie corridor… ARTEZ and the local municipalities are working on implementing the "practical" (i.e.: on-road) alignment so that a trail may be in place while the preferred (i.e.: off-road) alignment is sorted out… FOR, Allegheny County, et al are requesting letters from the municipalities to authorize them to engage with NS to sort out ALL of the grade crossings necessary (rather than a-la-carte)… Apparently NS prefers getting the whole list in front of them, rather than bit by bit… I haven't heard heretofore of any "fly-overs" in specific relating to the NS crossings, it has been my understanding that NS hasn't established or approved any means of crossings as FOR hasn't submitted a comprehensive list of all of the required crossings… Aspinwall Riverfront Park, which is open, will have a trail through it to a trail behind PWSA up river to Blawnox… …therefore, the (on-road) portion ARTEZ is working on establishing would join with the Aspinwall-Blawnox (off road) portion… (This is as recent as the mid-December ARTEZ meeting with FOR, AC and PEC. I was unable to attend yesterday's meeting, unfortunately).
2015-01-11 12:35:38
@ALMKLM, I saw a short article about Aspinwall getting $8K to help re-time traffic signals. Would that have any bearing on this?
2015-01-11 12:52:41
It was stated in yesterday's meeting that while Aspinwall RFP uses an existing public crossing, the crossing at Etna is a private crossing, meaning that NS has more control over it, and they will not permit foot or bicycle traffic across the rails. Hampton-Shaler Water Auth, however, will retain control of an old well-head building on the site, which may be reused (or rebuilt), so there will remain a truck crossing, but it will be gated and generally closed. (Also, if the park gets a performance space of some sort, it will apparently be available for equipment loading, but again not for general use.)
2015-01-11 12:55:16
@Stu: Yes and no. The biggest issue we are grappling with is the changing dynamic on Freeport Rd in relation to the new Park (Residents on one side of Freeport Rd and NS, the Park on the other…). So in a general sense, yes. But in particular, that grant is more to better sync-up vehicular traffic on Freeport Rd. However, we are trying to engage PADot as they are preparing engineering for the re-build of the North end of HPB to have a fresh look at Freeport Rd: better sidewalks, safer pedestrian crossings, additional crosswalks, etc. We need to find a way to overcome PADot's reliance on the 85th percentile, otherwise the speed limit will never come down (we have been rebuffed twice in the last 5 years in getting the speed limit reduced). We are also constructing a new intersection at Brilliant Ave and Freeport Rd to replace the odd offset condition that currently exists. As part of that, NS is replacing the at-grade crossing with a presumably safer at-grade crossing. We are also trying to incorporate safer crossings, etc. All parties want the same thing: safe crossing. So that is a good place to start.
2015-01-11 13:08:34
@buffalo: Yes. But that is not inconsistent with what I am saying. If NS feet were held to the fire today, the answer is no. The process to get all of these crossings sorted out, is to propose solutions for ALL the crossings - not one at a time. That is why FOR is getting the approval of all the municipalities. Millvale to Etna, or Millvale to Sharpsburg is the keystone segment here. Unfortunately none of these local crossings are really on the table, until all of them are on the table. (Excluding the crossing at ARP, which is primarily a vehicular entrance to the park. The Borough's Public Works garage and salt shed are also located there and this crossing is necessary for that. And, if the preferred alignment ever happens - meaning if/when AZCON goes away, the trail may already be on the river side of NS… one can dream, right?)
2015-01-11 13:14:29
I sort of gave up on the trail getting to Aspinwall because that huge scrapyard. That owner if very wealthy and so is that land for that use. Probably well over $10 million for such a piece with that business. I see no way through that place, but I am down with some safe street riding around it. Thanks for the updates on this. I have never been hassled crossing the tracks down in Sharpsburg by the 62nd St. Bridge, but maybe I have just been lucky. I use that now and again to get to Millvale via tracks/trail. It sure would be easy to make that trail between those two places, but I guess the RR doesn't want it.
2015-01-11 22:08:53