2019 Regional Operations Plan

“Planning for operations” encompasses a variety of activities that planners and transportation system operators collaborate on in order to maximize the efficiency of the transportation system and to ensure that transportation services are delivered in as safe, reliable, and secure a manner as possible. In addition to having many congestion mitigation and system efficiency benefits, planning for operations is required under Federal law.

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Census data shows poverty down in region

It’s not flashy and it doesn’t have any one big employer driving its economy any more, but the Pittsburgh region continues its modest but steady growth, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data, from the bureau’s latest edition of the American Community Survey, shows that generally in 2018 poverty was down, median incomes were up, and people here continued to have health insurance.

“Obviously it’s good news if poverty is falling and median incomes are growing,” said Guy Faucher, chief economist for PNC Financial Services. “But it’s not dramatic. It’s not like there’s going to be a big driver [of job growth] like they have in tech centers like Seattle or Denver.”

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Through the Safe Streets, Smart Cities Academy, Smart Growth America worked with three cities around the country to implement temporary safety demonstration projects. The City of Pittsburgh historically relied on 311 requests to help decide which streets need safety improvements, but when a team from the city looked more closely at the data, they realized they were not reaching the whole community through this process. In particular, they were not addressing key locations with high crash rates in low-income communities of color because this traditional channel of collecting complaints. In partnership with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the Allegheny County Health Department, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, and PennDOT, they launched a demonstration project at one such site to implement safety projects and to establish new partnerships with the community. Working closely with a local school, they added crosswalks with protected refuges to help children reach school more safely, and they also redesigned the intersection of Lincoln and Frankstown Avenues to make it less stressful for all people—including drivers—in the process.

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While living in Monaca, Dr. Vincent Troia frequently rode his bike to the Montour Trail in Coraopolis. He followed the Ohio River down Bicycle PA Route A, along Route 51, despite the high-speed traffic. Troia also said he would bike on the Little Beaver Creek Greenway trail, just across the state border in Ohio.

“I was thinking, ‘boy, it would be nice to just connect the two trails, and then we’d have a beautiful network, a bike network,’” said Troia, who now serves as president of the Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC). The nonprofit organization works to protect trails and to provide active transportation networks in the Ohio River Valley and surrounding areas.

Since its founding in 2009, the nonprofit ORTC has completed multiple bicycle feasibility studies to improve safety for cyclists. The studies encompassed an area along the Ohio River from Coraopolis to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border and examined possibilities for safer, off-road trails, according to Troia. Now, ORTC is developing a more comprehensive bicycle suitability study.

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We’ve updated the SPC Data Library “Visualize: SPC Tableau” with current population estimates for counties & municipalities in the SPC Region . Our interactive Tableau dashboard now includes subcounty resident population estimates from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018. The dashboard can display a variety of indicators and data comparisons by municipality, county, and region, based on user selections.

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We’ve updated the SPC Data Library “Visualize: SPC Tableau” with the recently-released Annual County Population Estimates. Our interactive Tableau dashboard now includes Demographic Characteristics in the SPC Region by Age, Sex, and Race. The dashboard can display a variety of indicators and data comparisons by municipality, county, and region, based on user selections.

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Five years after the Green Building Alliance surveyed Pittsburgh area commuters about how they get to work, the answers have changed substantially, with more people using several ways each week, working or starting from home and using bikes or ride-share options.

“One of the largest takes is people commuting differently from day to day,” said Isaac Smith, data and performance director for the alliance. “They may drive two days a week, work from home one day and then take a bike. There’s a level of flexibility that’s growing in the workforce.”

The alliance — a group of more than 500 Downtown Pittsburgh building operators aiming for a 50% reduction in energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions by 2030 — released the results of last fall’s survey of more than 20,081 commuters during a Strip District event Thursday. It also announced it already reached its 2020 goal of a 20% reduction in those areas.

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Twenty-five road and bridge projects have been identified by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)  as being under construction or in the planning and design stages in Lawrence County.

Those projects are expected to be underway or finished between this year and 2022.

Members of the 10-county regional agency, based in Pittsburgh, hosted a public open house Wednesday at the Lawrence County Government Center. Attendance was sparse at the session that featured maps and lists of projects — current and proposed — that have been divided into three categories. Those that are funded and will take place within 25 years, those currently under way or in design, and those that have no funding commitment yet.

One of the presenters, Andy Waple, director of transportation planning, explained that the SPC coordinates all of the transportation planning in southwestern Pennsylvania, working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, county planning departments and transit authorities in each county. The agency lays out a mission, goals and policies of how state and federal transportation money will be used in the next 25 years, he said. 

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According to UN estimates, urban environments are responsible for 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. If we have any hope of staving off the worst effects of climate change, we need to start with our cities.

That’s where the 2030 District Challenge comes in.

This international challenge supports owners and managers of urban buildings in their goal to improve indoor air quality and achieve 50 percent reductions in energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions by the year 2030.

Pittsburgh, under the leadership of the Green Building Alliance (GBA), has answered the call with gusto.

With 528 properties representing more than 84 million square feet across Oakland, Downtown and the North Side, Pittsburgh’s 2030 District is the largest in the world.

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We’ve updated the SPC Data Library “Visualize: SPC Tableau” with components of population change in the SPC Region. Our interactive Tableau dashboard now includes county population totals and components of change from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2018. The dashboard can display a variety of indicators and data comparisons by municipality, county, and region, based on user selections.

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