Our three rivers define us. For years, industry and infrastructure kept our neighborhoods separated from the river. We now have an opportunity to make them as integral to the fabric of our city as the Danube is to Prague or the Thames is to London. I will work to connect our communities to these rivers and turn the rivers into highways for people. Water-based transit is becoming more popular across the country and almost no city is better suited to take advantage of it than Pittsburgh. New York City’s new water taxis transport thousands of people between their growing riverfront neighborhoods to their jobs in midtown and the financial district, there is no reason that Pittsburgh can’t provide the same option for our growing riverfront neighborhoods.
1. Promote Riverfront Access
As mayor, I will work with community partners to expand riverfront access to all parts of the city. Building off of the success of the new riverfront access on the North Shore and South Side, I want to look for opportunities to connect communities to the river. Using the Allegheny Riverfront Vision and Allegheny Green Boulevard plans as a starting point, I want to get residents of the Strip, Lawrenceville, and Highland Park connected to the Allegheny. I will work with new developments in Hazelwood to make sure that riverfront access is a central feature of that neighborhood’s renaissance. And I will work with community stakeholders and landowners in our city’s Western neighborhoods to begin the conversation of how to create riverfront access along the Ohio River.
For far too long our riverfronts have been off-limits and this vital natural resource and engine of economic development has lain dormant. It’s time to activate our riverfronts with sustainable, high-quality development that provides the maximum amount of public access.
2. Connect Communities Via River
Once we have provided Pittsburghers access to the river, the next step will be to connect our communities to one another. As mayor, I will work with stakeholders to develop a robust water taxi system that connects our entertainment destinations, employment centers, and residential neighborhoods. Cities around the world use river ferry services to move people to and from these destinations every year. I will investigate ways to expand the existing water taxi service in Pittsburgh so that it could be a transportation option not just for recreational purposes but a viable form of commuter transport as well.