2024 ‘State of our Streets’ released in Lawrenceville

PITTSBURGH — A smoother and safer journey for pedestrians and drivers alike: that’s the goal of the annual State of our Streets report released this week by neighborhood group Better Streets Lawrenceville. It addressed some concerns shared by community members, including speeding cars, illegal parking on sidewalks and crumbling infrastructure.

“It all goes hand in hand. If a car parks on the sidewalk, now that sidewalk crumbles. Even when the car is gone, it’s hard for wheelchairs and strollers to get by,” said Armin Samii, chair of Better Streets Lawrenceville. “People really want slower, calmer traffic.”

The report said 99% of people who responded walked at least once a week in Lawrenceville. Residents identified some of the busiest intersections, like 40th and Butler Streets, as the most problematic.

“It’s crazy…too much traffic,” said Carol Gandee of Lawrenceville. “I’m not happy about that. I’m sure a lot of people aren’t happy about that.”

Despite the issues mentioned in the report, people were happy about recent improvements, like a bike and pedestrian pathway under the 40th Street Bridge.

“My understanding is, this is privately owned, which means the city and business owners can come together to make streets safer for everybody,” Samii said. “Without this infrastructure, people would have to go on Butler Street to get from this neighborway, which is on Hatfield, down to Smallman ,the Strip District, and to downtown.”

Residents are calling for improved intersections, more traffic calming, more enforcement, and more bike lanes. Samii said the city of Pittsburgh has had 136 percent increase in traffic calming this year, so Better Streets Lawrenceville is hoping to see a lot of changes this summer.

“Everybody is a pedestrian here, whether you’re walking, biking, pushing your stroller. Everybody is using our streets, and so we really need to make our streets accessible to everybody,” Samii said.

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