PITTSBURGH — Since our last report months ago, weeds have grown over the Ray Avenue city steps in Brookline.
Even thought they’re closed, people living in the area say they still have to use them to get the bus. They’re still waiting for the repairs, and waiting for someone to get hurt.
“We pay taxes for what? To have things like that fixed,” said Sherry Lachoppa. “My neighbors use the steps all the time. One of their kids are going to fall down there and get hurt.”
The crumbling and caving in slabs of concrete are now nearly completely overgrown. Further down the staircase, water that was leaking out continues to pour.
“People still use them. No one is going to walk a half a block to get around,” Russell Hibbs said. “People still step over the sign.”
When Channel 11 questioned city officials about the state of the steps back in March, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure said it was using grant money to do a city assessment of the more than 900 city steps. A new website outlining repair plans and prioritizing the work is up and running, but it doesn’t list the Ray Avenue city steps. There isn’t a score to determine how badly they need repaired and it’s not clear if the repairs are even coming.
“Not everybody has a car around here so they have to take the steps to get to the bus,” Lachoppa said.
“The city will come and turn you in for not mowing your grass and then leave that go all year. It’s like a double standard,” Hibbs said.
City Of Pittsburgh Representative Molly Onufer released the following statement:
“The city has 800 sets of steps that have been neglected for decades and are just as important to Pittsburgh’s aging infrastructure as its sidewalks, roads and bridges. The city is doing its best to fix them but it is still vital to pass the President’s infrastructure bill to get them the full funding they need. While these specific steps are closed for evaluation, city workers are focusing on properties that are in greater use this summer, like parks, ballfields and playgrounds.”
Cox Media Group