Statement before Glenn A. Walsh
Board of Directors, P.O. Box 1041
Port Authority of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Allegheny County: Telephone: 412-561-7876
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2017 April 28
Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh, 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon, a regular Light Rail and bus rider who has chosen not to drive a motor vehicle since 1985, to help save energy, protect the environment, and reduce city traffic congestion. I have been an active transit advocate for nearly 40 years, including 3 terms on the Allegheny County Transit Council as a Charter Member. My comments today are my own and do not reflect those of any organization.
The public participation process, for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project between Downtown and Oakland, thus far is flawed. At the April 5 public meeting in Oakland, several people wanted to respond to the presentation, before the assembly. One city resident had even prepared a written statement to be delivered at the meeting, with photocopies of the statement for PAT and city officials as well as interested members of the public. Neither he, nor anyone else, was able to speak before this assembly.
The meeting format only allowed public comments at break-out stations, where the staff was only interested in a person’s preferred routing of four options offered. These break-out stations were simply set-up to diffuse opposition to the proposed project.
Before you ask the public which routing they prefer, the public has the right to weigh-in on whether BRT is the project they prefer. Apparently, the staff considered the no-build option and dismissed it out-of-hand. Does not the public have the right to consider the no-build option, before the commitment of, at least, $240 million public dollars? Further, some people may believe that another transit mode could better integrate the Downtown – Oakland Line with the Authority’s current rapid transit system. Should not these people have the opportunity to express their views on this very important public decision?
Before the BRT public process goes any further, I, respectfully, ask that this Board of Directors sponsor a general public hearing on this proposed public transit project.