Drawings of the proposed master plan for the gateway of Spring Hill and East Deutschtown provided by CASGED and Moore Design.

by Kelsey Shea

A plan to improve the safety and aesthetic appeal of the gateway to Spring Garden and East Deutschtown has evolved to a master plan for the two Northside neighborhoods.

Consultants from Moore Design and Evoque Architecture and Planning presented the final plan for the revitalization of the area surrounding the intersections of Chestnut Street, East Ohio Street and Troy Hill Road at the monthly Community Alliance of Spring Garden and East Deutschtown meeting.

The monument was inspired by the 16th Street Bridge.
The monument was inspired by the 16th Street Bridge.

“Not many communities have the land and space for this kind of project,” said Evoque Principal Jeff Wetzel, who said that the open space and landmarks in the area were unique strengths of the project.

After months of working with the community, consultants have identified and prioritized three main objectives for the area ­– installing cross walks, widening sidewalks and installing a monument and parklett at the entrance of the two neighborhoods.

Other installments like new bus stops, tree streetscapes and new bike  lanes are also being discussed as part of the final master plan, but are as not one of the top three priorities.

CASGED wants see crosswalks and widened walkways at Troy Hill Road and East Ohio Street where they intersect Chestnut  to increase pedestrian safety in a high-risk area. CASGED has had two meetings with PennDOT, who they believe have similar objectives for the space and are willing to work with the community group.

The master plan also includes a parklett with a dramatic, 40-foot monument installed in the area between Troy Hill road and Route 28.

The parklett would extend up Troy Hill Road and will include bio swells to help manage rain water and a helix-shaped walk way leading up the pedestrian bridge and Penn Brewery, where they plan to build a new parking lot.

“We love the plan. It’s beautiful,” said Nancy Noszka, CASGED communication consultant.

Community members believe that this project will increase awareness of the strengths of the neighborhoods, primarily their proximity to downtown Pittsburgh.

“This process has unearthed the vitality of our neighborhood and how lucky we are to live here,” said Tom Pierce, development committee chair of CASGED.

The community group hopes to complete the project in phases, and the next step for the project will be having a targeted fundraising plan.

CASGED has raised roughly $100,000 for this project, but has not come up with a final project cost. Noszka  assured community members that “it’s not as much as people think.”

“There are a lot of steps that need to happen between now and when we start construction,” said Noszka.  “Right now, what we really want people to do is to look at the plan.”