Pittsburgh District 1 Councilman Bobby Wilson discusses Riverview Park’s “mountain of needs.”
Photo of Pittsburgh’s City Council Chambers by Ashlee Green
As summer winds down and budget season begins in City Council this fall, I wanted to take a few moments to talk about the Northside’s many green spaces and our needs in these areas.
Parks have always been a vital part of our Northside neighborhoods. The onset of the pandemic has only emphasized their importance as we all turned to our green spaces for needed refuge and recreation. I went on walkthroughs all across the Northside because I wanted to meet residents in its various neighborhoods, see what was working in the parks and green spaces people spent a lot of time in, and learn where we need to commit more resources.
Riverview Park has a mountain of needs. My walkthroughs in this major park were eye-opening. This is the largest park in the Northside and should be a crown jewel in our City’s collection of regional parks. Instead, it is in desperate need of major investments. For starters, there are nine landslides in Riverview Park. That is by far the most landslides in any of our City’s parks. During budget season, I will seek $850,000 to remediate the largest landslide in Riverview Park that is eating up the roadway near the Chapel Shelter. Riverview Park is also in need of robust ongoing maintenance. The Parks Supervisor at the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) recently transferred six more staffers to the Northern Division, where they will focus on restoring and maintaining Riverview Park.
Last month I went on a walkthrough of the Jack Stack baseball fields with the board of the Brighton Heights Athletic Federation. On that walkthrough, I realized that we need to establish regular and ongoing maintenance at these fields. I connected with DPW to clean up the fields for playing season, cut down high grass and weeds, and build and paint new benches. I also confirmed that DPW will laser grade all of the baseball fields for next year’s spring season. I also spent an afternoon walking through the Team Pittsburgh Dek Hockey rink in Marmaduke Park. Hockey players of all ages use this rink and it has become a vital center of community life in Brighton Heights.
Last year, many residents in Troy Hill and surrounding neighborhoods shared their vision of a new Cowley Recreation Center in Troy Hill. This is a major moment where we will impact the present and future use of what promises to be a vital community hub for decades to come. Troy Hill, Spring Garden, and Spring Hill residents should look out for upcoming community meetings to discuss the new design of this recreation center.
Finally, on the topic of parks, I am excited to see the results of the reconstruction of the Historic North Promenade in Allegheny Commons, thanks to the work of the Allegheny Commons Initiative and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. We are anticipating that this work will be done by November of this year, in time for the holiday season.
As paving season winds down, I have learned how much we can improve stormwater drainage when we pave. When the paving list came out earlier this year, I committed to driving every road on the list in my district. We were able to add more miles of paving to the list. Now, when residents call my office and tell us about the water runoff issues that are threatening their property, I am able to use my relationship with the PWSA and the City’s Department of Mobility & Infrastructure to not only pave streets but also fix catch basins, install wedge curbs, and regrade the street to route water away from private property and into the sewers.
If there is an issue in your neighborhood that you’d like me to come look at, please feel free to contact my office. You can reach my staff at (412) 255-2135, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We look forward to hearing from all of you.
Enjoy the fall season!
COUNCILMAN, DISTRICT 1