GREGORY BURRELL – MESTA
by Emily DeMarco
The Hillcrest light-rail stop is not easy to find.
There is no sign at either entrance. Tucked between two hills in Bethel Park, it’s barely visible from nearby roads. The closest landmark is a Walgreens.
Roughly 28,000 people ride the Pittsburgh area’s light-rail system every day, which is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
But it’s possible Allegheny County is missing opportunities for growth if newcomers, such as businesses interested in relocating or young professionals purchasing a home, aren’t aware of the county’s existing mass transit stations because they can’t find them.
Increased visibility of and access to mass transit are important — and relatively cheap — ways to boost the region’s economy, according to a new study by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. Better signs, walkways and marketing are important, it said.
“Put the station on the map,” said Abigail Thorne-Lyman, the study’s co-author, emphasizing giving stations more prominence in the community.
The study was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group and funded by The Heinz Endowments, which also supports PublicSource.
PublicSource went to all 52 light-rail stops and took photos so you can see for yourself what you think about the ease of finding and using them. (Click on Link at end of story to go to the Public Source Site)