Statement Before the Council of the                              Glenn A. Walsh

    Borough of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania                            P.O. Box 1041

Regarding Enhanced Pedestrian Access to                          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041

    the New Wilkinsburg Busway Station                              Telephone:  412-561-7876

                        2003 January 22                                                                   E-Mail: < >

                                                                                                                                Web Site: < >


Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh and I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon. I conduct business in the Wilkinsburg area about once a month and use the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to reach Wilkinsburg.


Last year, I was appalled to learn that the Port Authority intended to abandon a large staircase and wheelchair ramp, at the site of the original Wilkinsburg Busway Station inbound platform, when these facilities could still be used to provide a more direct access between the newly relocated Busway station and the Wilkinsburg business district.


Over the last year, I have attempted to work with the Port Authority to preserve this additional pedestrian access to the new Busway station. I will be addressing the Port Authority Board of Directors, on this issue, on Friday morning.


I am not asking for a multi-million dollar project. I am simply asking for the construction of an additional sidewalk, and perhaps a small barrier as this sidewalk traverses a bus layover area.


I am asking for the construction of a sidewalk from the site of the original Wilkinsburg inbound platform to the new inbound platform. This will allow renewed use of a large staircase and wheelchair ramp at the site of the original inbound platform.


For people originating east and south of Wilkinsburg’s Pennsylvania Railroad Station, my proposal provides a “straight shot,” using the existing wheelchair ramp, to access the new inbound platform without crossing busy Penn Avenue. In fact, it is such a logical and direct route that people will use this walkway and not even contemplate running illegally across Penn Avenue.


And, this will allow wheelchair patrons, originating on the south side of Penn Avenue, to access the new Wilkinsburg Station without crossing busy Penn Avenue, which is not currently possible.


The Port Authority staff has argued that this sidewalk would be dangerous, because it would require people to cross two driveways into a bus layover area.


However, crossing these two bus driveways, which have limited traffic, is much safer than crossing busy Penn Avenue—legally or illegally! And, crossing these two bus driveways is much safer than crossing the mainline busway at-grade, which is necessary at nearly every busway station owned by the Port Authority!


And, the walkway I propose would provide a very direct route between the new Busway station and the Wilkinsburg business district, which people would actually use! I ask that Wilkinsburg Council approve a resolution supporting the construction of the sidewalk I propose.


On a related matter, I support the proposal to have all express buses, which enter the Hay Street Busway Ramp, stop to pick-up passengers at the Wilkinsburg Busway Station, before proceeding non-stop to Downtown. Buses entering the Hay Street Ramp will not be up to full express speed as they pass the Wilkinsburg Station; hence, there is little disadvantage to the other riders to make one more bus stop. I also ask that Wilkinsburg Council pass a resolution asking the Port Authority to allow all express buses, entering the Hay Street Ramp, to make a service stop at the Wilkinsburg Busway Station.


Thank you.