(OT) Step Up Pittsburgh: Sprout Fund Grants for the CITY STEPS
Saw this today & thought that many of the people on this board would have good ideas to contribute. Note the March 9 deadline. Some other opportunities also listed on their web page:
Step Up Pittsburgh Request for Proposals
Step Up Pittsburgh is a project idea all about our city steps! This project will highlight one of our most unique neighborhood assets and celebrate Pittsburgh’s historic built environment.
Pittsburgh is home to miles upon miles of city steps that connect commuters to workplaces, hilltops to riverfronts, and neighbors to main street commercial districts. However, many of these critical linkages are in various states of disrepair and neglect, or are otherwise hidden and unknown to many.
Proposals requesting support of up to $10,000 are sought from interdisciplinary teams for activities that are not limited to but may include programmatic elements such as:
Mapping and documenting the step system
Restoration / preservation / maintenance
Lighting the steps
Informational or historical signage/photography
Health and wellness activities (e.g., step classes on the steps)
Events or challenges to get involved with the steps
Fundraising / “adopt a step”
Concerts and festivals
Link for details: http://www.sproutfund.org/SIX
I want to do something about this. I remember a thread (or at least a discussion) back in the depths of winter a year ago.
My approach would be to identify the closest transit routes and stops to various neighborhoods and enclaves by use of steps.
That I know about steps at all was a 2006 need, trying to get to/from Pittsburgh Filmmakers without having to cross Baum Blvd. The Denver Street steps from Gold Way up to Craig were choked with garbage, poison ivy and other overgrowth. I singlehandedly cleaned it out and kept it ivy-free in the five years since.
In 2009, in response to a request or stated need from Councilman Dowd, SPC initiated a location/mapping/conditions assessment of the public steps in the City (and surrounding areas.)
We have requested funding from the state/feds to permit us to expand this effort and/or enhance the speed of data collection. If successful, we could have all the steps mapped by the end of summer.
Much of our interest is the sort of ‘modal transportation assessment’ to which Stu makes reference. We’ll be attempting to do similar things with transit nodes, park and ride lots, etc.
When Councilman Dowd first broached the subject, he indicated that the City has an annual budget of about $100,000 PER YEAR to fix/maintain the public steps AND public walls in the City. Clearly not enough to do the job.
Step Up Pittsbutgh will bring awareness to these needs.
I’ve shared all this information with the Sprout fund, who will be funding some of the upcoming work. I have been unsuccessful in multiple attempts to reach anyone from Step Up Pittsburgh directly. Can anyone PM me a contact there, or ask them to get in touch with me……?
FWIW, my cost to make the steps usable was almost zero, I think $4.29 for a bottle of calamine lotion a few days later. I used Stone Age tools to do most of the work. I may have put 10 minutes work a YEAR into subsequent maintenance of those steps.
@swalfort, it’s not clear from Sprout’s site whether Step Up is an org or just a project title. I suspect it’s the latter. Sprout’s web page says the “SX” initiative is coming from the Pittsburgh Foundation. Let’s hope it’s not one of those things where there’s $5 million in studies followed by $.5 million for actually implementing stuff (color me cynical, today anyway).
Ther is an organization called Step Up Pittsburgh. I found a link to them somewhere, and they listed their board membership, but they never responded to any of my emails.
I just followed @StepUpPgh on Twitter. Hopefully they’ll get back to me. I’ve been trying to hook up with them in some way for over five years.
From a purely cycling perspective, I’d rather haul my bike up a big staircase than pedal up a big hill, so keeping all the steps alive is a big deal for me.
From a purely transit perspective, the steps were put there to get people from their homes to the nearest trolley lines, 365/6 days a year, so keeping the steps alive is a necessary component of public transit.
Any politician who does not understand the necessity of steps, try living in some of these little enclaves and pretend it’s 1912 when nobody had a car. Just how *would* you get around, if you didn’t have those steps? Drop a million or so into renewal, and you’ve made it possible to get around without a car, which in turn makes everyone living near a staircase and a bus line easier to be kept fed and have a decent standard of living without paying for their multiple cars, too, which in turn makes the city a more desirable place to both live and do business.
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